Criminal Law

By Elizabeth Beard

08.03.17

Parking Ticket Rise on the Way for Canberra

The ACT Government is rolling out a trial of the use of plate recognition technologies for parking inspectors. The inspectors will no longer have to walk the streets and mark tyres to issue parking tickets.

Instead, new plate recognition technology allows parking inspectors to easily scan the number plates of parked cars and take an infrared and standard photo. This means they can quickly determine whether cars have outstayed their time limit and issue fines. The new technology will give parking inspectors the ability to cover greater areas in less time. Understandably, this has caused concern amongst Canberra drivers that the number of parking tickets is about to rise.

According to the Canberra Times, the director of Transport Regulation at Access Canberra said that the trial was introduced in response to concerns over city-wide parking dramas with many residents, especially in southern Canberra, voicing frustration over the policing of parking.

He stated that this new approach was ‘not so much about fining people’ but instead was aimed at informing drivers that the ‘frequency with which we could infringe you is sufficient to make it cheaper to park and cheaper to pay for parking or to find another alternative form of transport.’ However, inevitable questions of this being a technique of revenue raising have emerged.

Although the plate recognition technology will mean greater regulation of parking in the future, during the trial period infringements are fortunately not being issued. Instead drivers will receive a ‘warning’ which is considered a way to educate drivers and prevent further parking offences.