Auckland Transport won't reduce parking fines despite saving on costs

https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018655867/auckland-transport-won-t-reduce-parking-fines-despite-saving-on-costs 

New technology in Auckland is about to make parking wardens' jobs a lot easier.

Later this year Auckland Transport will start trialing cars with license plate recognition cameras onboard, similar to the technology police use, to issue some tickets.

The camera would record the number plate, time and location of the vehicle, Auckland Transport's parking design manager Scott Ebbett said.

The technology will be rolled out to residential areas first in central city suburb areas like Parnell and Ponsonby.

Mr Ebbett said just one parking warden would be able to do the job of 20 with use of cars that have camera license plate recognition cameras.

"It's used all over the world, it's quite big in Europe and Australia. The technology we bought was from Australia."

He said the idea was that it would also help save on staff costs.

"Because we're rolling out residential parking zones all around the CBD and to enforce all of those on foot you would need, 20 parking officers."

Auckland Transport said there were no plans to make wardens redundant as a result of the new technology, just hire less people.

"We're just going to do a more efficient job with the same number of staff," Mr Ebbett said. 

While the cost of issuing some parking tickets in Auckland is about to drastically decrease, Auckland Transport would not be reducing its fines.

The transport agency said the fines have not increased in two decades and they were there to act as a deterrent.

The technology could later even be extended to pay and display parking, the transport agency said.