Ask the Experts - Parking tickets are about changing behavior - what does this mean?

Parking tickets are about changing behavior - what does this mean?


Dan Kupferman, CAPP
Business Development Manager

Parking tickets are moderately effective at changing behavior, but If the fine is considered "affordable," or if people sometimes "get away with it" (park illegally without getting ticketed), the behavior will continue.  The ticket needs to cost so much, and enforcement needs to be so consistent, that the behavior is simply not worth it.  This is easier said than done, and often becomes political, but in the meantime those fines create a nice little revenue stream!


Derek Kiley
WPS North America

Citations are to educate parkers to respect the payment requests for metered parking and provide easy and convenient payment methods for the same. Payment convenience using credit cards and cell phones are a large step in the right direction.


Rick Decker, CAPP
Assistant Manager, Parking Operations
Metropolitan Airports Commission
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport

Citations are intended to change behavior so parkers will park their vehicles so citations do not need to be issued. If the citation does its job - to inform and cause enough pain so the parkers understand that their behavior does not meet their desired outcome - they will not repeat that behavior at that location. Most parkers are well aware they are playing the odds of getting caught. If they believe the odds are they will not get caught and/or if they don't believe the consequences of not paying the fine are significant to them, they will continue to play the odds. I tested the parking system at the University of Colorado when I visited from Minnesota. The ticket was issued. At home, I waited to see if they would follow up on a vehicle they would never see again. They did. The second letter followed announcing the fine would be increased and other consequences would follow. I paid the ticket at the lower cost and now believe it is not worth it to me to play the odds at CU. The certainty of receiving the citation and the certainty of receiving significant undesired consequences changed my behavior. Where a parking system sets this pain threshold is part of the "Art of Parking" specific to your location.


Roamy Valera, CAPP
Vice President / Regional Manager
Standard Parking Corporation

I will say that a "parking ticket" is used to encourage a particular behavior and that is to ensure that the value of the parking space is recovered and that the parking space turnover is achieved.


Linda Kauffman
Vice President of Industry Solutions
T2 Sysytems

Most of society really is law abiding. However, for the percentage of the population that is not, we have to enforce rules and, often, that comes in the form of tickets or fines. This applies to many more areas than parking. Speeding, code infractions, and late fees are just a few examples. The ticket and fine that follows is to try to encourage those not in compliance to follow the rules and "behave." Without the ultimate penalty, compliance is not always guaranteed. It is no longer enough to tell someone that they did wrong. Unfortunately, there is a percentage of the population that needs to have some forceful way to have their behavior changed. Although not the only way, fines and tickets serve this function. This does not always have to be the first line of defense, and many organizations use warnings and courtesy notes first. Once these options are exhausted, tickets end up being the final way to change behavior.