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Computer upgrade costly for Pa. traffic scofflaw

The first Eniac computer, state of the art in 1946, was the first general-purpose digital computer.

(CBS/AP) VANDERGRIFT, Pa. - Two of the most unsettling words in the English language would have to be "computer upgrade."

Just ask a western Pennsylvania man who had forgotten all about the 1992 speeding ticket he owed worth $146.50...that is, until a statewide computer upgrade at district justice offices started churning out past-due traffic fines.

Forty-three-year-old Matthew Petika, of Kiski Township, tells the Valley News Dispatch that he couldn't figure out why he got a constable's letter on Monday, threatening him with jail time.

A little digging determined that he paid all but $25 of his speeding ticket fine in Monroeville, which is in Allegheny County - the last in the state to be added to the statewide Unified Judicial System's computer network.

As part of that process, district judges were asked to "clean up" outstanding cases - and Petika's unpaid ticket, which now includes court and constable fees, has multiplied nearly six times over.

Petika says he'll pay it.

Is there a computer upgrade in your future?

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