Electronic Parking Overstay Detection System

The electronic Parking Overstay Detection System from Vehicle Monitoring Systems will enable councils and parking officers to fine drivers the second a car overstays its time limit. The system, with a sensor buried under the road, will alert parking inspectors to an offence.

Maribyrnong Council in Australia has completed a 12-month trial of 500 new units. Its success is likely to encourage other councils across the state to follow suit.
The expected cash bonanza comes as figures show 11 inner-city Melbourne councils reaped $215 million in parking fines in just three years.

The electronic Parking Overstay Detection System (PODS) knows the second a car has been parked too long and automatically alerts a parking officer.

PODS involves a tiny device being inserted below the surface in parking bays. The device takes a reading of the electromagnetic field of a car when it pulls into the bay and it immediately starts recording. It detects when a vehicle leaves the bay. When a vehicle overstays the parking limit, the device sends a signal to hand-held computers carried by parking officers. It tells them where the offending car is and how long it has been parked there.

The parking officer then goes to the bay and issues a ticket. It means parking officers no longer need to constantly patrol the area as the PODS device tells them where offending vehicles are.

Maribyrnong City Council -- which made more than $2 million in parking fines in each of the last two financial years -- refused to release details of how many motorists were booked during the 12-month trial.

The devices are almost impossible to detect and motorists are not warned of their presence. Five hundred PODS devices were put in parking bays in Footscray and Yarraville during the trial. Sites included the Irving St car park and parking bays in Nicholson, Paisley, Barkly, Anderson and Ballarat streets.

Maribyrnong council general manager of corporate services Nick Foa said the council was seeking a permanent supply of PODS devices. "We have no concerns about the use of PODS as it improves the safety of our officers and is a more accurate and useful way of managing parking in our city," Mr Foa said.

Each PODS device is programmed with all the relevant data for the bay it is hidden in, including the time limit of the bay, the bay number and location and the date and time.

Promotional material from Vehicle Monitoring Systems, a companie bidding for the Maribyrnong contract, claims PODS devices work equally well in metered and non-metered bays.
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