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Fuelcard Blog Update: Rise of the parking surveillance-Bots

On the surface it seemed like such a good idea, the perfect cure to a headache that has been bugging councils in the UK for years. An automated CCTV surveillance van that scans its environment for illegally parked vehicles, issuing fines automatically to their home addresses like a bureaucratic version of the Terminator.

These CCTV vans were heralded as the next generation of parking enforcement, saving time and money. The councils welcomed their introduction with open arms, speaking publicly about improved efficiency while privately jumping with joy at the extra revenue for their coffers generated through parking fines. However, as is always the case when human judgement is replaced with a cold, calculating machine, the vans began to spiral out of control, issuing tickets at an alarming rate, sometimes seemingly at random to any stationary car that they encountered!

No driver is safe from the ticket-onslaught; one report speaks of a vehicle stopping for 46 seconds so that the driver and passenger could switch places. Not too unreasonable I’m sure you’ll agree, perhaps the driver was suffering from eye-fatigue or needed a break? Imagine that person’s shock as a fine for up to £60 dropped through his letterbox without warning a few days later. It is unknown whether this motorist paid his fine; many feel threatened by the prospect of having to battle through the appeals system. At the end of the day, most people just don’t need the extra hassle.

Over 4 million parking fines were issued by councils last year; this figure has risen fivefold over recent years as the CCTV surveillance vehicles have come to power. This survivor advises drivers wishing to avoid being issued parking fines to never let their cars become stationary in case a rogue parking surveillance vehicle passes by. Devise a rota so you and your loved ones can take shifts driving the car in loops around the block through the night if necessary. Stay safe.



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