A NEW ‘weapon’ has been unveiled to clampdown on inconsiderate parking outside schools.
North Tyneside Council is using state-of-the-art technology to target dangerous and illegal parking outside education facilities and at bus stops.
The authority has begun using a car equipped with the latest Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera to record any misdemeanours.
During the summer holidays, the council’s parking enforcement team will be out testing the new equipment ahead of pupils returning to school in September.
And the scheme will not cost a penny during its trial year after the council secured a grant.
Coun Ed Hodson, cabinet member for transport and the green environment, said: “We have introduced the vehicle, which will focus on keep clear zones outside schools, following concerns from headteachers about people parking irresponsibly and causing a danger to pupils.
“We have previously used a range of tactics – including education and enforcement – to try to change drivers’ attitudes, but some still choose to ignore these parking restrictions that put children and other pedestrians at unnecessary risk.
“This work will continue, but the camera car will enable us to carry out more effective enforcement of parking restrictions outside schools and at bus stops.
“We are hopeful that the vehicle will improve road safety, and during its one year lease period we will assess its effectiveness.
“If the evaluation proves to be a success, and accidents and conflict are reduced by its use, then we will need to decide as to its further use.”
The vehicle has a camera fixed to its roof and is equipped with a computer system loaded with details of all parking enforcement areas across North Tyneside.
The camera automatically records the registration numbers of cars parked illegally, which can then be used to issue fines of up to £70 upon the vehicle’s owners.
Additionally the ANPR technology can also be used to undertake traffic surveys quickly and effectively.