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Let's pray French parking meters don't cross the pond

The French are using wireless technology to enforce parking rules--is that good or bad?

Matt Hickey
With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.
Matt Hickey
Matt Hickey

I hate parking tickets. I mean, nobody likes them, but I have a special hatred for them. And now they've given me one more reason to avoid going to France.

I often play a game of cat and mouse with the parking attendants of Seattle. I know I have two hours at a meter, but I also know they have scheduled routes, much like mail carriers. I push my luck and usually make it out just as they're approaching. Often, though, I'm too late. But these new "smart meters" in France make my stupid game impossible.

The meters not only register the amount of time you can occupy a spot, according to FoxNews.com, but they'll also alert the meter maids if you've overstayed your welcome. That's right, they snitch on you. To make matters even more insulting, they'll send you a text message telling you you've been fined. These instruments of parking monitoring are evil.

They're rolling out soon in the U.K., which means the likely next stop is here in the States. I do not like where this is headed. The ultimate goal, of course, is to raise revenue for the cities that they're installed in. Officials will naturally say they're meant to facilitate better parking for everyone, but I'm cynical enough to realize they'll be used to pay for a new bridge with my windshield.

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