FL Highway Dept, DMV, Y2k problems

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Y2K fix backfires

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.


Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved. --

Thursday, 6 January 2000

-- Lee Maloney (leemaloney@hotmail.com), January 09, 2000

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