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Shock as Amsterdam Court Agrees that New Parking Meters are Crap

The new “improved” parking meters introduced by the Amsterdam City Council do not have many adoring fans. Most people recognise them as a blatant attempt to generate even more revenue for the council by being so hard to use that even people who pay for their parking end up getting fined.

Motorists are expected to type their own license plate numbers into the new meter’s touch-screen, in theory making it easy. Unfortunately, the meter’s touch-screens are frustratingly unresponsive, with many users upset that they seem to spend longer at the meters, desperately trying to hit the right tiny keys, than they then spend shopping.

Predictably enough, many motorists manage to get a digit wrong and, as far as the scumbags in the Amsterdam City Council are concerned, this means that they have not paid, even if they have paid and have the receipt to prove that they paid. So convinced are the council of the importance of accurate paperwork, that they actually took it all the way to court.

This predatory behaviour, and refusal to recognize that this is morally wrong, leads many to suspect that the choice to buy and install such a bizarrely hard-to-use system, which makes mistakes so easy, may not have been entirely a mistake on the part of the council.

More worryingly, as the Privacy First Foundation point out, insisting that motorists enter their license plate number provides the authorities with an easy way to track their movements – Amsterdam City Council are essentially forcing citizens to spy on themselves!

It was actually the chairman of the Privacy First Foundation, Bas Filippini, who took the court case and, to everyone’s surprise, the judge agreed that Amsterdam City Council have no right to pursue fines simply on the basis that the motorist made a typo, if said motorist can present reasonable proof that he did, indeed, pay.

A rare moment of triumph for fairness and common sense, but don’t get too comfortable: the council still employs a vast workforce of civil servants, all funded by you and busily dreaming up new ways to screw you.

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