URA to conduct trial on vehicle-mounted cameras to detect parking offences

The six-month trial will begin in the second half of 2021. PHOTO: URA
Parking on double yellow lines is among the offences URA hopes to detect during the trial. PHOTO: URA

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will soon conduct a trial to test if parking offences can be detected in real time using vehicle-mounted cameras.

A URA spokesman on Thursday (March 18) said the trial's objective is to study the feasibility of using video analytics on a moving vehicle to identify and classify various types of parking offences.

Such offences include parking on double yellow lines, against traffic flow, in lanes with a single continuous white line across a bi-directional road and outside a lot boundary.

Expected to work under all weather and lighting conditions, the technology should also pick up heavy vehicles parked in lots meant for cars.

If tests are successful, manpower deployed to nab offenders may in the future be reduced, as a single person will be able drive the vehicle during enforcement operations. Such offences are currently verified physically.

Three components will be part of the enforcement vehicle - a video camera, a licence plate recognition programme, and an artificial intelligence engine that processes video footage and determines if a vehicle has been parked illegally, as well as classifies the offence.

The six-month trial, which will cover at least 15 roadside carparks in areas like Tanjong Pagar and Little India, will begin in the second half of this year.

Tests will be conducted on weekdays between 8.30am and 6pm, and between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.

The Straits Times understands that enforcement action will not be part of the trial.

In 2018, URA, the Land Transport Authority and Housing Board appointed Certis as a common provider to carry out enforcement against parking offences in public roads and carparks managed by the agencies that are not equipped with Electronic Parking Systems.

Statistics released in a joint statement by URA and HDB in 2019 showed an average of about 260,800 notices were issued each year for illegal parking from 2016 to 2018.

Illegal parking fines were raised to $35, $70 and $100 for motorcycles, cars and heavy vehicles respectively on July 1, 2019. Previously they were $25, $50 and $80 respectively.

URA on Monday (March 15) published a tender for contractors to conduct the trial, and submissions are open till 4pm on May 11.

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