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South Gloucestershire rolls out new illegal parking initiative

Motorists parking illegally in South Gloucestershire could soon be caught out by a new mobile enforcement car that will have the capacity to recognise number plates and film vehicles that park dangerously.

Rolled out in a bid to crack down on drivers who are parking in an illegal, dangerous and thoughtless manner outside the area’s schools, or in bus stops or taxi ranks, the car is fitted with GPS technology and number plate recognition cameras.

The car – which will be able to film vehicles on pedestrian crossings – will cost up to £74,000 a year to run, but will “pay for itself with a net contribution of about £22,000,” a council spokesman told the BBC.

The car will operate seven days a week from this month, and will see penalties for illegal parking issued at £70, a fee which will decrease to £35 if paid within 21 days.

The council spokesman added: "Rather than attached to the vehicle or handed to the driver, fines will be issued by post. All parking infringements will be checked by a parking enforcement officer before a penalty charge notice is issued.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s Claire Young, told the news provider: “While most road users park safely, some do occasionally park dangerously in restricted areas and the message is that if you continue to do this, you will receive a fine.

“Road users particularly need to be aware that driving away when the parking enforcement car approaches is not a defence, because their details will already have been recorded,” Ms Young added.

A previous mobile enforcement car which was rolled out in Bristol last year, resulted in 510 penalty notices being handed out to motorists over the first two weeks of operation.

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