What does the scan car look like?
The i-PARK scan car is a white, four door, electric vehicle. It has subtle i-PARK signage on its rear doors. There are cameras installed on the roof of the car.
How does it work?
The scan car uses its cameras as it drives the streets of our inner city to scan the licence plates of parked vehicles. The cameras are connected to i-PARK's parking enforcement technology and as the licence plates are scanned, they are checked against information held in the NZTA database. This information is assessed alongside the existing parameters set by Council to determine whether or not an infringement should be issued. It is important to note that these policies and procedures are set by Council.
If an infringement is issued for an expired WoF or registration, the system will be programmed to ensure a second infringement cannot be issued for another seven days. This ensures owners have a fair and reasonable opportunity to renew their WoF or registration before a second infringement notice can be issued.
Once the scan car has been adequately socialised and is integrated with the relevant technology, it will also help to identify vehicles that have not paid for parking, exceeded the amount of time they have paid for, or exceeded stated time restrictions. An alert will be sent to the parking wardens who will then check the car and issue an infringement notice if appropriate.
Is this a breach of privacy?
No. The i-PARK system uses the NZTA database and accesses the same information that our parking wardens have always used. Using the scan car is just another, more efficient way of doing things.
The database will only provide information on vehicle ownership, WoFs and registrations, and if a car has been flagged as stolen or related to criminal activity. No other information will be accessed.
Who covers the cost of the car?
The cost of the scan car and any maintenance required is included as part of Council's contract with i-PARK.
i-PARK is paid a monthly fee to provide parking services on behalf of Rotorua Lakes Council. i-Park invests in the parking infrastructure and technology. Council receives the parking revenue and sets the policy including the prices for parking.
Learn more about Council's contract with i-PARK here.
Do we really need a scan car?
The scan car is expected to significantly improve our enforcement rate which will in turn assist in making sure that our parking system is fair and consistent for all users, including improving the turnover of car parks. In the past, there was a higher likelihood of people not paying for parking and exceeding stated time restrictions due partially to the manual nature of our old system. This was inherently unfair to other members of the public who may also have wanted to use that parking space.
What if it crashes/or we crash into it?
The scan car is safe, road worthy, and insured, just like any other vehicle on our roads. It will be driven by a full licenced, experienced driver. In the unlikely event of an accident, this will be dealt with in the same way any accidents on New Zealand roads are dealt with.
If you have a query or complaint about the operation of the i-PARK scan car on our roads, please contact Council on 07 348 4199.
Does the car scan licence plates accurately?
Yes, the scan car has been calibrated to ensure it is scanning licence plates accurately.
How do I dispute an Infringement Notice?
If you would like to dispute any infringement notice, the process is the same regardless of whether it was issued by a parking warden or the scan car. More information about this is available here.
Is Council trying to increase revenue by introducing the scan car?
Council has upgraded the parking system to provide an effective, modern, and cost-efficient service to the community. The new parking system has improved consistency of service across the city and has improved turnover of parking spaces so that car parks are less difficult to find.
The previous parking system used obsolete coin-only operated meters that were expensive to operate and maintain, as well as being labour-intensive to monitor. This dated technology contributed to low enforcement rates and lost revenue.
The new system, which includes the scan car, will help us collect the revenue that we were previously losing and help us consistently enforce parking so the system is fair for all users. Revenue generated from parking is reinvested in the city's parking infrastructure.