10 interesting facts about parking enforcement

Parking enforcement may not be the most glamorous aspect of urban life, but it plays a vital role in maintaining order in our cities. From those dreaded parking tickets to the mysterious workings of the “parking patrol,” there’s more to this profession than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of parking enforcement and uncover ten fascinating facts that shed light on the often misunderstood, yet essential, job of keeping our streets organized and our curbs accessible.


Whether you’re a driver looking to avoid fines or simply curious about the mechanisms behind the scenes, these insights into parking enforcement will leave you with a newfound appreciation for those who keep our streets in check

  1. Ancient Origins: The concept of parking enforcement dates back to ancient Rome, where chariots and carts had designated parking areas.

  2. First Parking Meter: The world’s first parking meter, known as the “Black Maria,” was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935 to regulate parking.
  3. Ticket Revenue: Many cities generate significant revenue from parking violations. New York City, for example, collected over $500 million annually from parking fines before 2021.

  4. Tow Trucks: Tow trucks play a crucial role in parking enforcement, relocating improperly parked vehicles to impound lots.

  5. Booting Vehicles: Some cities use “boots” to immobilize vehicles with multiple unpaid parking tickets until the fines are settled.

  6. Parking Tickets Per Year: In the United States, millions of parking tickets are issued each year, contributing to city budgets.

  7. Parking Enforcement Officers: These officers often have to deal with irate citizens and challenging situations while performing their duties.

  8. Technology Advancements: Modern parking enforcement has evolved with technology, including license plate recognition systems and mobile ticketing apps.

  9. Parking Regulations: Parking rules can be complex, with specific regulations governing time limits, handicap parking, loading zones, and more.

  10. Parking Citations Worldwide: Parking enforcement is not unique to the U.S.; it’s practiced in cities around the world to manage traffic and promote safety.


These facts shed light on the diverse and sometimes surprising aspects of parking enforcement.