The Ugly Side of Parking: Enforcement

Parking enforcement is a basic necessity in the industry. First and foremost, it ensures payment of a service and it keeps the demand for parking spaces in control so that users can more readily find available parking. Parking enforcement also helps ensure that parking operators receive a return on their investment in parking technology such as parking sensors, lighting, charging stations, barriers, as well as regular maintenance.

Despite the importance of parking enforcement, this is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the industry. One visible challenge is the cost-benefit of enforcement. Traditional parking enforcement requires parking enforcement officers to check each car on foot. These officers travel from one parking location to the next checking each car and issuing tickets when necessary. The cost of this operation is very expensive without taking into account the next challenge: payment follow-through.

Because each municipality and parking operator has their own set of guidelines, payment follow-through is not always easy.   For many cities and operators, receiving the money of a parking fine is not an easy task given that punishment of parking offenses sometimes doesn’t exist. In some cases, the expense of issuing a ticket and mailing notices is never recuperated.

Another challenge, and perhaps the most concerning of all, is the safety of the parking enforcement officers. There are countless of cases of parking officers being attacked as they are issuing a fine. From yelling, spitting to physically assaulting the officer, their safety is always jeopardized.

Fortunately, technology to improve parking enforcement is improving. The surge of parking apps is helping diminish the problem by allowing drivers to pay real-time parking with just a few clicks without worrying about loose change, finding a parking meter or simply wasting time.

Parking enforcement has also been improved by ALPR/ANPR. Companies such as Genetec are providing an easy, cost-effective and safe method of enforcement that combines well with many parking payment options. Chris Yigit from Genetec recently spoke to Parking Network about their technology. To see this interview, click here.

Finally, parking cameras from providers such as Parquery are alleviating the cost and danger of parking enforcement thanks to the possibility of scanning and detecting parking violations at a distance to facilitate the task of enforcement officers. Parquery’s technology has been a success in Vevey, Switzerland and you can find out more by clicking here.

For parking operators, enforcement is a crucial aspect of the business. It will be interesting to see the increase in parking enforcement technologies in the coming years. 

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