Have you ever been frustrated while trying to park? Did someone take up two spots or make it impossible for you to get out? Have you left a rather passive-aggressive note on their wind shield? Thanks to CurbTXT, you can now text people via their license plate number.
CurbTXT describes itself as “Neighbors helping neighbors avoid the pitfalls of city parking.” This free service, originating in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights, gives you the opportunity to register your vehicle through your license plate number. CurbTXT gives users a sticker, which is about the size of a silver dollar with a “C” on it, to place next to their license plate. This enables neighbors or other individuals who see a vehicle blocking them in, about to get ticketed for street sweeping, or if just badly parked, to text your license plate number, starting with the abbreviation, and a message.
The great thing is that you don’t have to be registered to use the service; anyone with texting capabilities on their phone can send a CurbTXT, as long as the vehicle in question has been registered. However, if you would like others to send you a message when your vehicle is hindering them in some way, you do need to register.
Worrying about your vehicle will potentially stop when using this service. As CurbTXT states, “Why call the city and tow a car if you can reach the driver? It’s easier than ever to be a good neighbor
Are there any potential downsides? There seem to be a few. What if you are stuck in a business meeting and you get a text saying your car is about to be ticketed or towed? Would you rather stew in the knowledge that you can’t leave to move your vehicle and know that you’re getting a ticket or would you rather find out when you leave? The same thing can be said for those on a vacation. Would you want to come home to find your vehicle has been towed or know about it the entire trip?
According to Jonathan Bloom of ABC, “300 people have already registered. They’re giving away the stickers at local coffee shops hoping neighbors will start looking out for each other instead of writing nasty notes.” Although there is no arguing that this is a potentially fantastic service, it depends solely on those that sign up whether they tell others about it and use it like it was intended.