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Motorists need to change habits as recognition cameras increase

Over the past few years, the technology for enforcing road safety has advanced, allowing manual checks to take a step back and be replaced by automatic number plate recognition systems. These cameras clock private plates and standard registrations in the same way, creating large data resources for experts to access and enabling road standards to improve by catching out bad drivers. Now, with many private car parks, such as those for hospitals and supermarkets, starting to install these systems, it’s imperative for motorists to change their habits or face costly fines.

In the past, despite a lot of car parks having a maximum stay period, many drivers got away with parking a little longer than necessarily allowed. This was as much part of a landowner’s lax management as it was the difficulty in actively cataloguing how long every vehicle had been parked. However, with the new automatic number plate recognition systems, vehicle plates are scanned on the way into a car park and, if on the way out people have overstayed the maximum time, a fine is likely to be received in the mail.

The rising incidence of this has been publicised by the recent addition of the technology in a popular car park in Linlithgow. Installed at the Regent Centre, shoppers are given just two hours to stay, after which they could receive a fine of up to £70. Gerry McCluskey or Shepherds, the managing agency of the site, said, “It was necessary to install the system to deter commuters and other individuals from abusing the system by parking all day.” Likewise, Sainsbury’s in South Woodford has also installed a system, advising people via notices that there’s a two hour maximum stay and that motorists cannot return within the hour.

It’s been well reported that the owners of private land are increasingly seeking financial rewards for drivers who’ve parked on land a little too long. With the automatic number plate recognition systems becoming more common across the country, the fining procedure has also become automated in many cases, meaning that there’s no human processing or intervention, even if motorists have stayed just one minute too long. And, though private parking penalties can be appealed, going through the process can be tiresome and long winded. It means that the habits of many drivers must change, with motorists adhering to the strict time limitations on private car parks or facing high penalties as a result.

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