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1,500 parking fines by Sandwell CCTV camera car in JUST five months

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

More than 1,500 fines have been dished out to motorists caught parking illegally by a CCTV 'camera car' in just five months.

The camera car was brought in as part of a crackdown on roads around Sandwell's 120 schools.

The council became the latest in the Black Country to use cameras to tackle dangerous parking.

Wolverhampton City Council has been using a CCTV car to catch drivers parking outside the city's schools since November 2012 with officials saying it helps make the roads safer for children going to school.

Sandwell's has been on red routes, pedestrian crossings, loading ban areas and bus stops.

Between the camera hitting the borough's streets for the first time on October 13 and March 12, a total of 1,582 fines of £70 have been issued.

The car is fitted with camera equipment which uses automatic number plate recognition – ANPR – technology.

The scheme has cost the council £45,000. Money received from the fines goes towards running the car.

Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member for highways, said: "We're responding to people's serious concerns about road safety, especially outside schools and on school routes. Our top priority is protecting children's safety.

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"We know most motorists do take care and park legally - but we need to get the message through to the minority who don't.

"We are also using CCTV to support parking enforcement by monitoring and recording breaches of other traffic regulation orders that put pedestrian safety at risk."

Among the areas that have been targeted by the car are streets near Q3 Academy in Great Barr.

Council leader Darren Cooper has previously said it was hoped that the presence of the camera car itself will also deter motorists from parking where they shouldn't.

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The council piloted the scheme before launching it fully last year.

It was introduced into areas that have been hotspots for complaints.

Bosses said it had been well-received by residents, staff and parents when the vehicle was spotted around schools.

However it was met with scepticism with one road safety group based in Smethwick, called Keep Crossing, with members arguing that they could run an effective scheme using volunteer parents at more schools, for a much lower cost.

The camera that is fitted to the vehicle cost around £35,000 and the equipment to operate it around £6,000. Annual maintenance of the camera and equipment is around £4,000.

It is not the only way the council is using CCTV cameras in the borough. They have also been brought in to help reduce anti-social behaviour in Soho and Victoria and Princes End.

Wolverhampton City Council has been using a CCTV car to catch drivers parking outside the city's schools since November 2012 with officials saying it helps make the roads safer for children going to school.

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