Spy camera cars to spot parents parking illegally outside Dartford schools
Medway Council's CCTV car
has been used to catch illegal parkers since 2008. Photo: Martin
Parents who park illegally outside schools, putting
children’s lives in danger, will soon find themselves hit with a
fine thanks to a hi-tech roving camera.
A new traffic enforcement vehicle, fitted with the latest
technology to film while moving, will soon be prowling the streets
It will transmit footage back to the council offices, where it
will be monitored and fines will be issued.
The car will be used outside all 64 schools in the borough after
repeated complaints from parents and teachers about the ongoing and
“extremely dangerous” issue of people parking on yellow zigzag
News of the mobile car camera was revealed during a Dartford
council cabinet meeting.
Council leader Jeremy Kite (Con) said: “Other councils which use
this vehicle often do it wrong and I don’t want people to think
this is a money-making scheme.
“It’s about tackling a particular problem we have outside
schools, changing behaviours and potentially saving a child’s
He continued: “Every morning people’s thoughtless parking puts
children’s lives in jeopardy, forcing them to dodge in and out of
School zigzag lines at St
Edmunds Road, Dartford
“Those lines aren’t there for fun. They’re sight lines for
people to be able to cross the road.”
The high-resolution, height-extendable, 360-degree pan and tilt
zoom camera will be used mostly outside schools but may make an
appearance at large public events such as the Dartford
Currently, civil enforcement officers (CEOs) do have a vehicle
they use while on mobile patrol but if they spot an offence, by the
time they have parked their own car safely, got out and walked over
to the illegally parked vehicle to ticket it, the driver has
normally moved on.
"I hate the idea of being a snooping council, but where children’s safety is involved we have to take measures" – Council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite
The camera car
captures photos of offences while on the move and sends the
evidence back to the civic centre immediately.
The camera car will be trialled within the next six months, and
then a decision made as to whether to make it permanent.
The council is still considering how to pay for the
One option is to buy it outright at a cost of £50,000 and pay it
off over two years with the revenue from the 100 penalty charge
notices (PCNs) it is estimated will be issued each week. The
council gets an average of £30 income from each PCN.
Another option is to sign a three-year contract with an outside
supplier and pay it a proportion of each PCN issued.
Cllr Kite said: “I hate the idea of being a snooping council,
but where children’s safety is involved we have to take
“If we don’t issue any tickets in the two or three years then
great, it’s worked as a deterrent.
“If we do issue tickets then great it’s worked because they’ll
think twice about parking there again.”
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