Big Brother is watching you Park

November 20th, 2010

The next time you park your car in pretty much any major city in Australia or New Zealand, keep your eyes peeled for the latest parking spyware sensors that could be automatically dobbing you in to the nearest parking officer the second that you overstay your allotted time.

Automated Parking Infringement Sensors

The latest automatic parking sensors are being fitted to both free and paid car parking bays throughout Australia and NZ.  Theses sensors take a photo (including a timestamp) when your car arrives and if you stay longer than the maximum time (whether or not you have a valid parking ticket), will electronically notify the nearest parking patrol. Theses devices automatically take photos of offending vehicles with the time and date of the infringement recorded on the image.

The new system detects a vehicle’s presence in a designated area, recording its arrival and departure time – including vehicle overstays, through the use of sensors embedded in the parking bay. Information gathered is transmitted to the parking Officer’s PDA, when walking or driving near the parking space.  the parking officer can also be notified of nearby spaces that are close to reaching their limits.

Gone are the days of chalking tyres – parking Officers are now only needed to enter vehicle specific details –  with location and offence details automatically populated directly from the vehicle detection sensors in the ground.  It seems to me that a fully automated solution is not far off, so that days of parking officers may very well be numbered as well.  If I were a parking officer, I would be very concerned about how long my job was going to last for.

Council Parking Revenue

Unsurprisingly local councils are at pains to stress that this move is NOT a revenue raiser.  They “selflessly” claim that they are installing these devices simply to encourage people to limit their parking to  allotted times – resulting in greater sharing of the parking space and a fairer service to all motorists – yeah right.

Advertising materials for the product manufacturers clearly highlight the increased revenue benefits of installing their product – providing a case study citing figures for a potential increase in revenue of over 120% for a single parking area.

Sydney’s Lane Cove Council is the latest council to start using the technology, with 200 of the meter eyes about to be switched on.

550 parking sensors have been installed around Perth at a cost of $400,000, and they have already paid for themselves, whilst ramping up revenue 57%.

Devices of this type are already in use (or being tested) by councils all over Australia and NZ, including:

  • ACT Ranger Services
  • Adelaide City Council
  • Auckland City Council
  • Brisbane City Council
  • City of Melbourne
  • City of Perth
  • City of Sydney
  • North Sydney Council
  • Waverley Council

Whilst the altruistic sentiment of “sharing” parking spaces seems reasonable, it’s hard to see this trend as anything but yet another thinly camouflaged money grabbing strategy by councils.

The best approach to parking, and the safest way to ensure you are not hit by hefty parking fees or exorbitant parking fines is still to secure your own private parking space.  SpaceOut, remains one of the easiest way for you to locate or rent out your own private car parking space, at a very reasonable price.

  1. Rebekka Prince
    November 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 | #1

    I wont be driving my car to Lane Cove shops. This is getting out or hand and where will the xtra revenue that the council makes be spent? Certanly not to make our life easier. I guess shopping time will have to be kept under controll no more brousing and who will suffer? The retailers of course.

Comments are closed.

Feedback Form