UK council deploys Videalert electric mobile enforcement vehicle ahead of Clean Air Zone rollout

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Bath and North East Somerset Council in the UK is extending its Videalert CCTV enforcement platform by deploying a new electric mobile enforcement vehicle (MEV).

This multi-tasking vehicle will be used to enforce a wide range of civil traffic contraventions including digital resident parking permit zones, keep clears outside schools, bus stops and bus lanes. It will also help B&NES Council to carry out traffic surveys as well as monitoring and enforcing the new class C Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in the City of Bath which is expected to go live in early 2021.

“Videalert’s hosted video platform is multi-purpose and allows us to quickly and easily extend the reach of our enforcement activities,” says Chris Major, group manager for transport and parking at B&NES Council. “We can now use fixed and mobile CCTV enforcement cameras mounted on electric MEVs, both cars and bikes, enabling us to achieve compliance whilst demonstrating that we are serious about driving through clean air initiatives.”

The new MEV is a Peugeot 208e with a 47kw battery giving a range of 170-200 miles from a full charge. The car is fitted with Videalert’s full suite of traffic enforcement and management software. Two roof-mounted Stingray modules are installed front and rear, each with two ANPR cameras and upgraded infra-red lighting, which accurately capture crisp images of reflective number plates at distances of up to 40 metres. The MEV will deliver high levels of productivity as number plate read rates of over 98% can be achieved in a wide range of applications with vehicles being driven at normal road speeds and includes a full colour overview module to capture contextual images of contraventions.

Images of contraventions are transmitted to Videalert’s hosted digital video platform where evidence packs can be viewed and validated prior to sending to the council’s back office system for the issuance of penalty charge notices (PCN). Videalert’s flexible hosted platform makes it a quick and cost effective process to deploy enforcement as it does not require the installation of any IT at the council’s offices. To reduce the number of appeals, PCN recipients can view still photographs and video footage of the alleged offence over the internet.

When used to monitor and enforce the new Clean Air Zone in the city of Bath, which gives exemptions to private cars and motorbikes but charges higher polluting buses, coaches, HGVs, LGVs/vans, private hire vehicles and taxis, the MEV will capture number plates and compare them with those that have been captured by the perimeter static cameras. If the same vehicle is captured multiple times on the same day only one file is processed before being transferred to the central government’s systems for determining compliance and processing payment.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).