Y2K Fix Backfires

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Thursday, January 06, 2000 3:59:08 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A new computer system installed by the Florida Highway Department to prevent Y2K problems is having problems.

Among other glitches, a Seminole County woman said Thursday she has received hundreds of unearned traffic tickets.

Since November, when the system went online, Tina Hackett has received hundreds of traffic tickets and citations for cars she has never owned.

Hackett said some of the tickets came from as far away as San Francisco, where she was cited for 161 violations.

"It's crazy," she said. "I'm getting summons to court."

Although Division of Motor Vehicles staffers know Hackett has done nothing wrong, the computer shows her as the owner of all of the cars. They are looking for the source of the error and will correct it.

The new system is also causing difficulties for drivers around the state when they attempt to renew their license tags.

DMV Director Charles Brantley explained that clerks must now enter more information than was required by the old system, so it takes longer to process each renewal.

"You've got a heck of an increase in the workload, plain and simple," he said. "The system is very exacting."

This increased processing time has resulted in many motorists failing to receive their updated tags before the old ones expire.

Should they be stopped by police for driving with an expired tag, they could receive a ticket and fined $15.

Even with about 35 employees working overtime on Saturdays, clerks at the Duval County Tax Collector's Office in Jacksonville are two weeks behind in processing mailed in renewal forms.

The office has arranged to have citations dropped for people who mailed their forms in at least two weeks before the tag was due to expire.

"If someone drops in the registration renewal with that much advance time, then there's no way in good faith that this office can allow that person to get a citation," chief assistant tax collector Lynn Watson said.

The problem with long processing times should be resolved once the system has been in use one year, Brantley said, because all the files will then have been converted to the new format.



-- old regular (watching@it.all), January 06, 2000


"You've got a heck of an increase in the workload, plain and simple," he said. "The system is very exacting."

The SYSTEM is exacting and a pain in the ass.

Sort of what I told my brother. He has a small cabinet shop and was wondering if he should buy a computer. I told him for us little guys computers are fun & games, but a pain in the ass.

Maybe they will start becoming a pain in the ass to the big guys now. We shall see.

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), January 06, 2000.

1) Can you imagine the similar problems one might encounter when trying to register guns? Think of receiving hundreds of citations for illegal guns...which you've never owned! Makes one want to join the NRA...

2) Haven't these folks ever heard of file conversion? You know, you write a quick and dirty program to convert a data file in the old format into the new format. Sounds like they did it a little too dirty...

3) In Hawai'i, the computer program may be working fine, but someone forgot to order the new stickers... Like, maybe they thought they wouldn't need them after Y2K? Or like, we only order them every month, so we can just ignore ordering them?

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), January 06, 2000.

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