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By The Numbers: The Perils Of Parking Illegally In Philadelphia

By KYW tech editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you drive in Philadelphia, you probably have a story about parking in Philadelphia (Heck, there was a whole TV show about it.) But now we're learning about just how many of us return to our cars to find a dreaded violation slipped under the wiper.

Since the beginning of 2012, nearly 4.9 million tickets have been doled out.

"That's a lot, but actually the city issues fewer per year in the last several years than they did, say, seven or eight years ago," says Jerry Connors. He's head of the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication -- the people who hear us make our best case for getting out of trouble.

If every penny demanded by those tickets was paid and not disputed and dismissed -- or ignored -- the total would top $210 million.

You can see where the PPA butters its bread: the majority of expired meters -- which account for nearly two out of every five violations -- are written up in Old City and Center City west of City Hall.

The dataset is part of Philadelphia's push to be more transparent, and to allow people to visualize and use the info to improve the way things work in the city.

"You can't look and see how many tickets your ex-wife is getting, no," says Connors, who notes that license plates are anonymized. But drivers from all 50 states and a good chunk of Canada have taken home an unwelcome souvenir.

A total of 118 people have gotten dinged for counterfeiting a kiosk receipt -- better to pay the couple bucks than a $301 fine. Just don't forge a handicapped placard -- eleven people have been put on the hook for $1,000 penalty. Nine people have been hit with the highest fine -- two grand for operating an ATV on private property.

More than 85,000 drivers have parked too close to a fire hydrant ($76). And it pays to keep your inspection current: the PPA has ticketed 385,000 cars at $41 a pop.

The parking violation dataset is part of a transportation hackathon this weekend, hosted by Code For Philly.

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