This week, the Melbourne City Council announced the introduction of an electronic parking detection system throughout Melbourne’s CBD and Southbank.
Utilising sensors installed in the ground beneath the parking spaces, and in conjunction with technology able to automatically read license plate numbers, the system monitors the length of time a car spends in a space. If the vehicle exceeds the time limit, an alert is sent to a handheld device carried by parking inspectors, who will then conduct a check on the vehicle to determine if the motorist has stayed too long. The council will also be trialling a pay-by-phone system, enabling motorists to use their mobile phones to pay for parking.
The Council hopes that the technology will stimulate a greater availability (or turnover) of parking spaces, as drivers realise that they are more likely to receive an infringement notice if they overstay.
The system will be deployed on 4,500 parking spaces, will cost about $3 million and is expected to generate a return of almost $8 million more from extra fines over the next four years. The Age claims, however, that it is also likely to lead to industrial action by parking inspectors, who would see much of their roles rendered obsolete.