Tuesday, October 20, 2009

X marks the parking ticket

One vanity plate to avoid:
For Huntsville resident Scottie Roberson, the letter X -- seven of them, to be exact -- led to more than $19,000 in Birmingham parking tickets.

Roberson said he has been to Birmingham only once in the past five years and left without a ticket. He said city officials told him the tickets were issued by mistake because of his vanity plate -- XXXXXXX.

Roberson, 38, said the plate is an homage to his days of building custom cars, when he was given the nickname "Racer X." He uses seven X's, he said, because seven is his favorite number.

When Birmingham parking patrols find cars without license plates parked illegally or at expired meters, they enter seven X's in place of the plate number, city officials said. The parking citation form calls for a plate number, and the practice is to use X's when no number is available.

About a year ago, Roberson began receiving letters stating he had outstanding parking tickets, sometimes as many as 10 in one day in 10 places, he said.

On the other hand, this flood of tickets also establishes reasonable doubt should he ever get a real parking ticket.

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