You’re late for a meeting and need to find a parking spot, and you accidentally run a stop sign while distracted. Immediately you see the blue and red lights behind you and it all ends with a traffic ticket. You could contest it, but with the time and legal fees that would entail, is it worth it?
Florida-based startup TIKD has come to Atlanta to alleviate that feeling of dread that comes with paying an often expensive ticket or heading to court to fight the points on your license.
The web-based app allows you to immediately challenge a minor ticket (think basic moving violations) from your phone with a unique guarantee — you will always pay less than the original fine amount with no license points issued.
“You have a fantastic city there, but the government has really high fees, amongst the highest for traffic tickets,” says CEO Chris Riley. Approximately 500,000 traffic tickets averaging $380 each are given in the Atlanta metro area each year, and only around five percent of them are challenged by drivers, according to TIKD.
After you’ve submitted your traffic ticket, you’re prompted to pay a fee less than the original ticket, based on the average fine after going to court. TIKD then hires an experienced traffic attorney on your behalf, covers associated costs, and provides you with regular updates on your ticket status. You never have to pay more than the first one-time payment. If the attorney is unsuccessful and you still acquire points on your license, you’ll receive a refund, plus TIKD will pay for your ticket.
“Rather than play an individual game of chance, TIKD plays the law of averages. I may not know what’s going to happen with your ticket in particular, but I know, on average, this is what’s going to happen with your ticket,” says Riley. “Rather than make our customers wait and see what’s going to happen with their individual case, we act as the financial clearinghouse and take the net benefits that accrue from the efficiency that we drive. We pass them on to everybody, which is how we’re able to give everybody a discount on their tickets.”
Riley officially launched TIKD in February after spending a few months with a beta. As with many startups, he got the idea from a personal experience. After getting a traffic ticket within a speed trap, he faced an inefficient system to pay it and avoid license points. He believes that people shouldn’t have to overpay for everyday mistakes and he created TIKD as a result.
The startup has already had upwards of 3,000 customers in Florida with a 95 percent success rate.
“We drive efficiency in the system, we take the savings that are generated from that efficiency and we split it with the customer,” says Riley.
Sometimes a ticket is just really not within the budget at the moment. TIKD also offers a web-based ticket payment plan called BetterPay. For a small service charge, you can pay 50 percent of the ticket upon sign up with two more payment installments after that.
TIKD is currently available in the metro Atlanta area and extends to Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, and Gwinnett counties. They have plans to expand to the country’s top 30 metro areas by next year.