Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, the new system has been designed to operate automatically in an unattended capacity during the morning and afternoon school runs, and features Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems’ (ITS) LaneWatch cameras from the company’s market-leading civil enforcement product portfolio.
According to Noel Frost, Head of Enforcement for Siemens ITS, LaneWatch cameras provide an effective and efficient means of identifying all vehicles that access the newly created pedestrian zones during restricted periods when parents are dropping off and collecting their children. “The approved enforcement cameras monitor the vehicles at each entry and exit point at specific times,” he said. “They also have the ability to remotely access complex operating schedules and dynamic Authorised Vehicle Lists to make sure they are capturing correct information.”
In Croydon, safety concerns had been raised by the public and the schools that led to the council wanting to trial an experimental scheme for enforcement outside three schools in the borough. They approached Siemens to deploy a solution by expanding the existing digital enforcement solution that has been in use to enforce bus lanes and moving traffic contraventions for several years.
The trial is one of several Croydon Council initiatives to improve the borough’s environment including free cycling lessons and the introduction of 20mph speed limits across the borough.
According to Councillor Stuart King, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration, at Croydon Council, the trial period was a success, with initial high contravention rates subsiding as drivers’ behaviour changed. “I am really encouraged by the impact the scheme has had, with evidence fewer children are being driven to school as a result of the pilot. At one school almost two thirds of pupils are now walking, cycling or scooting to school, compared with barely half this time last year.
“I am delighted all three schools have confirmed the environment immediately outside the school gate has improved and become safer following the introduction of the scheme.”
The new Siemens ITS LaneWatch enforcement solution has been designed as a single camera solution to detect nearly all traffic contraventions that are enforceable using CCTV. This includes bus lanes, banned turns, no-entry, parking outside schools and on red routes, and yellow box junctions.
Cameras are mounted on to existing street lighting columns that had been pre-fitted with mains power sockets. Each camera is configured to monitor vehicular access to the restricted areas for specified hours and minutes as part of a seven-day configurable schedule of enforcement. Using any number of Permitted Vehicle Lists, each with the capacity to maintain tens of thousands of registrations, the system can accurately identify potential contraventions in real-time.
Video evidence is gathered from the cameras both before and after the camera is activated with the camera recording contextual overview and a still image of the vehicles VRM. The overview video allows the system operators to establish if there are any extenuating circumstances for the contravention before processing the footage.
Recorded video evidence is encrypted for security reasons and then transmitted off the camera using the in-built 3G/4G cellular transmitter. The evidence is the processed and stored on the Siemens Hosted Core Server ready for operators to review and where necessary turn the evidence in to a Penalty Charge Notice via the back-office notice processing system interface.
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Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio in its core areas of rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, turnkey systems, intelligent traffic systems as well as related services. With digitalization, Siemens Mobility is enabling mobility operators worldwide to make infrastructure intelligent, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience and guarantee availability. In fiscal year 2017, which ended on September 30, 2017, the former Siemens Mobility Division posted revenue of €8.1billion and had around 28,400 employees worldwide. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/mobility.