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New York drivers have laughed in the face of a bid to name and shame them on the Net.

In August the city's Department of Finance started listing the names and addresses of residents with the heftiest parking fines online. It aimed to embarrass them in cyberspace and collect more than $700,000 in unpaid tickets.

But five months later it has managed to net just $800, the New York Post reported, despite incentives such as letting these "parking violation scofflaws" pay fines online.

The city heard from four of the 21 drivers whose details it splashed on the site, but didn't have much luck at getting them to pay. By the time they had tracked them down, one had died, another had sold his car before the tickets accumulated, while a third had his car seized, but didn't bother to retrieve it as he reckoned the motor wasn't worth the tow fee.

The fourth, Manhattan resident Matthan Walker, had $800 seized from his bank account. The city, however, claims he owes $33,790 on 259 tickets, but Walker says he won't be shamed into paying the rest as his car was stolen before most of the tickets were dished out.

According to Walker, he's tried contacting the Department of Finance to explain his predicament, but has had no joy. "There's no-one there you can talk to," he told The Post. "They seriously need to figure out a better way to do this."

The site claims the top 21 offenders owe a total of $706,096, on 5,500 tickets. ®

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