UK councils deploy Videalert’s ALPR-based traffic enforcement system

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Two UK councils have recently deployed traffic enforcement systems that combine automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) with video analytics to control illegal parking, misuse of bus lanes, and moving traffic contraventions.

Portsmouth City Council is adding school safety to the range of enforcement applications running on its hosted Digital Video Platform. The council has started by deploying the Videalert system outside schools where illegal parking in ‘keep clear’ zones has been identified as putting children’s lives in danger. The cameras are being installed after a survey of parents, teachers and school governors showed an overwhelming 84% support for the initiative. The new school safety cameras will work in conjunction with Videalert’s hosted civil enforcement platform that was deployed in 2015 to capture bus lane contraventions. The innovative platform provides councils with the flexibility and future investment protection to add further enforcement applications including parking on ‘keep clears’, as covered in parking law by Contravention Code 48.

The Videalert system combines ALPR with video analytics to deliver the highest productivity at the lowest operational cost. Using a single PTZ camera, it continuously monitors the keep clear zones and automatically captures only the drivers that are stationary in defined ‘watch areas’ and exceed the ‘watch times’. Trained council operators can access the dedicated hosted server and review the evidence packs using standard web browsers. Confirmed offences are then transmitted to the council’s Xerox SI-Dem back office processing system for the issuance of PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices).

“Videalert’s hosted enforcement solution has proven reliability, accurately captures the number plates of vehicles committing offences in busy traffic conditions, and minimizes the incidence of false reads,” noted Michael Robinson, parking services manager at Portsmouth City Council. “The system also has the flexibility to allow cameras to be redeployed during school holidays to monitor and enforce additional bus lane contraventions, and enhance system productivity throughout the whole year. This will enable us to extend protection to more schools and increase driver compliance during term time.”

The London Borough of Bexley has recently installed automated enforcement systems from Videalert to capture moving traffic contravention at several key locations. The fixed/redeployable cameras will supplement the council’s existing fleet of CCTV cars and enable enforcement to be extended to improve driver compliance. The contract was awarded to OpenView Security Solutions, a leading provider of CCTV systems to local authorities, under the ELS framework agreement, which can be accessed by all London boroughs and allows direct and fast procurement. The Videalert CCTV enforcement system combines ANPR with video analytics to automatically capture only the number plates of vehicles that actually commit offences. It will also be used to enforce weight restriction contraventions applying to heavy goods vehicles on designated roads.

Tim Daniels, sales and marketing director of Videalert, said, “We are pleased to be again working with OpenView Security Solutions on this important contract. The platform provides councils with high levels of flexibility by supporting multiple civil traffic enforcement, traffic management, community safety, and crime prevention applications simultaneously.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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