There are few more frustrating things in life than wandering back to your vehicle and seeing that dreaded yellow notice tucked underneath a windscreen wiper.
And doubly so when the traffic warden is actually 'in the act' but refuses to listen to your claim that "you'd only popped out for a minute to get some crisps". It's too late, you've got that parking ticket and you're just going to have to lump it.
But, due to the actions of an entrepreneurial teenager: not for much longer. 18 year-old Londonder Joshua Browder has created donotpay.co.uk - a site and Android app which automatically generates parking ticket appeal letters based on previously successful submissions. You simply head to the site, enter a few details, and voila, your billet de voiture could soon be getting cancelled.
Speaking to Mashable, Browder said, "Over the past two years, I have received around thirty parking tickets for trivial reasons. I have had to spend around one hundred hours of valuable study time writing appeals to these tickets, many of which have been successful. I have come to realise that councils issue tickets first and ask questions later. Unfortunately, many recipients of these tickets don’t have the time, legal knowledge or energy to appeal."
He continued: "The site not only saves time, but also ensures that drivers have the best possible chance of winning their appeals. I created the service after scanning thousands of pages of documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and consulting a leading traffic lawyer."
Browder is leaving the capital for a place at Stanford University later this month: if we were the authorities, we'd be making an offer to get him to stay and sort out the whole of TfL.
So, the moral of the story seems to be that if you fight the law, the law doesn't always win.