19 Feb 2008

Washington D.C., February 19, 2008 – Beware, all you parking meter feeders and restricted zone overtimers. Take heed, you who are weighed down with quarters or hoping the parking enforcement officer is working in a distant neighborhood. The swift and unblinking eye of the mobile parking camera is here.

The District’s Department of Public Works has issued several ALPR systems that enable parking officers to swing quickly through a neighborhood with infrared cameras produced by Elsag North America and plate hunting software, Officer™ Timing Enforcement (TE) by gtechna. The District uses this high-tech solution to spot vehicles that overstay time limits at parking meters and in restricted permit zones.

The city already uses such tools to check for scofflaws, but now it wants to focus, in part, on commuters who occupy downtown parking places intended for shoppers. «We don’t want employee parking» there, department director William O. Howland Jr. said last week. «We want turnover to help business.»

The District—where a search for street parking can have the intensity of a demolition derby—has about 16,000 parking meters and about 4,100 blocks of residential parking permit zones, according to Karyn LeBlanc, spokeswoman for the D.C.Transportation Department.

Most time limits for meters and permit zones are two hours, she said. And no, it’s not okay to pump in more coins every two hours.

The new systems would dramatically increase the efficiency of overtime parking enforcement, Howland said. Currently, officers manually enter data into hand-held computers.

Sensors being readied for testing look like gizmos from «Ghost Busters.»

How it Works
One array, mounted on a sport-utility vehicle, has been getting double takes around town in recent days. The vehicle bristles with four cameras, two lasers and a global positioning dome.

The equipment is typically mounted on vans or SUVs that cruise along a street recording license numbers and car locations. A later sweep turns up cars overstaying the time restrictions in metered or unmetered zones, officials say.

A Fully Functional System Easily Integrated with Existing Hardware & Databases
Officer™ is a dynamic software module developed by Gtechna and can be easily adapted to systems such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and virtually any database. Software is customized by industry experts in law enforcement and engineered to suit the unique requirements of enforcement projects from conception to implementation, great news for parking enforcement teams that will benefit from this hyper-efficient technological  breakthrough.

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