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New CCTV-style cameras target parents on the school run

Parents who park illegally while dropping off and collecting their children on the school run are being targeted with CCTV-style technology. 

The £16,000 Videalert camera system will read the number plates of cars that stop on yellow or zigzag lines for more than a few seconds. It then relays the resulting footage back to a control room, where local authorities can review the information and issue a fine, set at up to £130 in London and a maximum of £70 outside the capital. 

Five councils in London, including Enfield, and at least two outside the capital are taking part in the trial. Tim Daniels, director of Videalert, said the technology was three times cheaper than using camera cars to monitor parking outside schools. 

Daniels claims the system “can be fixed to existing street furniture and programmed to look for specific school-gate offences such as parking on a zigzag line for more than three seconds.” 

He said that the system was developed after Videalert were approached by a local authority concerned about the safety of pupils. According to Daniels, since the first trials started over the sumer, Videalert have been “inundated with requests from other councils across the country asking about the system.” 

Actor Tom Conti, who has campaigned for fairer parking rules, compared the cameras to “Stasi-style” surveillance and stated that targeting parents is “frankly disgusting.” 

But as David Richmond, CEO of Videalert, says: “It will help to reduce the number of accidents that are happening outside our schools every day.”

It may also encourage some parents to walk their children to school and gain some exercise in the process. 

What do you think? Let us know by dropping a comment below. 

Image: Flickr 



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