App helps city residents fight parking, traffic tickets

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The creators of the New York City parking and traffic ticket-fighting app WinIt say it has helped drivers avoid $6 million in fines over the past two years.

"You get that one orange ticket and you just look at it and you got to pay that thing because you're very flustered," says Mark Wiener, who works at the Brooklyn Municipal Building, where one might go to pay fines or dispute tickets.

WinIt’s founders say they get 1,000 tickets every day, and about one-third of those drivers don't have to pay the city any money. If the app wins a case, the original ticket receiver pays half the fine to the app for its services. If the dispute is lost, the receiver pays the city as normal. The founders say the app will save time and give ticket receivers a better shot at avoiding the full fine.

"Anybody can fight their own ticket." says WinIt co-founder Christian Fama. "However, your chances of success are relatively low if you don't know what defense to prepare."

That defense, he says, is best left to lawyers. But there are a few things residents can do to help if they get a ticket. One is submitting right away and uploading a clear copy of vehicle registration. Of course, the more evidence the better.

City officials would not say what they think of the new way to fight tickets, but WinIt's co-founders say the app actually helps the city.

"We can go in and fight in bulk instead of a thousand people doing a walk-in for the day," Fama says. "It actually clears up and frees up a lot of Department of Finance resources."

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