Safety first for parking enforcement car
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The high-tech vehicle will target ‘high-risk’ areas outside schools as well as bus stops, pedestrian crossings and taxi ranks in a bid to enhance road safety and reduce traffic congestion.
While South Gloucestershire has some of the safest roads in England, dangerously parked vehicles, including cars waiting on restricted areas, can pose a serious safety hazard by overcrowding narrow roads and obstructing emergency vehicles.
The car will patrol the district and where it detects an illegally parked vehicle, it will automatically record its number plate for review by a parking enforcement officer.
The scheme has been welcomed by schools in the district such as Wheatfield Primary School. Headteacher Mrs Christine Dursley said: “We’re very pleased to see the launch of the car and hope it will remind road users about the need to park safely.
“Cars that park or wait on the zigzags outside the school are a hazard for our pupils, because they stop them seeing the road clearly and make it more difficult to cross safely.
“We know that the enforcement car can’t be everywhere at once, but hopefully the knowledge that it is out and about at school drop-off times will encourage people to observe the parking regulations and make our roads safer for children and their parents.”
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee Cllr Claire Young said: “In South Gloucestershire we’re fortunate to have some of the safest roads in the country and we want to keep them that way.
“While most road users park safely, some do occasionally park dangerously in restricted areas and the message today is that if you continue to do this, you will receive a fine.
“We’re urging drivers to check the local parking restrictions and make sure that they park safely and away from restricted areas. Road users particularly need to be aware that driving away when the parking enforcement car approaches is not a defence, because their details will already have been recorded.”
The car’s introduction this month follows pilot testing and public consultation last autumn which revealed high levels of public support for the scheme.
Councillors formally approved the scheme in January.
The car uses GPS technology, coupled with number plate recognition cameras, to record the details of any vehicles it detects in a restricted area.
This information is stored on an on-board computer and double-checked by an officer to confirm that an offence has taken place, before a postal penalty charge notice is issued.
The car is clearly marked with the council livery.
Further information about the car are available to view on the council’s website at www.southglos.gov.uk/parklegally
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