PALISADES PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Imagine parking meters with cameras, and if you're late feeding the meter, the camera goes off and you get a ticket in the mail.
The revenue from those cameras has been a windfall for the New Jersey town of Palisades Park, where drivers can no longer gamble that they will get back to their car before the meter runs out.
The futuristic looking structures line Broad Avenue. Some say the meters are great for the town and should be installed in other parts of New Jersey.
But many disagree, feeling they are thorns in their sides.
About 500 of the digital parking meters have been there for several years. But last summer a pilot program began in which 20 were fully automated.
When the time runs out, cameras take a picture of the license plate. The potential ticket is sent to police, who determine if there's been a violation.
If so, you get a ticket in the mail and can then pay by mail.
Business owner Rodolfo Elba has gotten a few. "Every time I have to pay 35 cents, every 30 minutes, I have to come back and put coins there," he said.
Right now police in the town do still issue tickets the old fashioned way, walking the strip and placing the violation on your windshield. But they're hoping to get the green light from the state to allow all the meters to become fully automated, which would free up officers for other things.
"It gives everybody a fair chance to get a parking spot," said Michael Giannantonio, who co-owns a pharmacy in town. He says in this densely populated area with not a lot of parking, the meters will work.
"If there's not turnover then what's going to happen is one guy is going to park his car there all day, get on the bus going to the city, come back and get his car and meanwhile everybody's driving around the block," said Giannantonio.