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Should everyone be able to issue parking tickets with their cell phone?

(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

D.C. is looking into a new program that’s perfect for people who were hall monitors in school and always wanted to take their narc interests to the next level. The pilot program would give residents the power to issue parking citations to their neighbors.

“Well it’s a smart idea,” said KIRO Radio’s Todd Herman. “I mean honestly if you want to enforce parking it’s a smart idea. I’m just wondering about the sort of people that would do this that would sign up to do this.”

Here’s how it works: Up to 10 people from each ward can apply and get training, and then are free to hit the streets as junior G-Men. When they see a violation, they can use an app to take a time-stamped picture showing the infraction, and then the violator would later get a ticket in the mail, reports NBC Washington.

The program is being proposed by D.C. councilmember Charles Allen, and is part of an omnibus bill aimed at increasing public safety and preventing pedestrian deaths.

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“We don’t have enough enforcement officers out there,” Allen told NBC Washington. “We’ll oftentimes see a vehicle blocking a fire hydrant, blocking a crosswalk, blocking a bike lane … and by the time somebody shows up, that car is long gone.”

Critics are a little uncomfortable with the idea of residents having the power to issue parking tickets, and believe this has more to do with generating revenue than pedestrian safety.

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“I actually understand why people would sign up for this and would be one to enforce this in their neighborhoods, because people can be real jerks,” said co-host Mike Lewis. “On the other hand, I get it. I don’t want to turn the average person into a police force officer.”

“And I particularly don’t like the development of traffic tickets or rather parking tickets being a device for revenue generation; it’s always been sort of a quality of life issue — or at least it was for most of its history — and now it’s a revenue generation issue.”

Listen to the Candy, Mike and Todd Show weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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