Siemens Mobility says a pilot scheme to improve road safety outside three UK primary schools has been made permanent.
Siemens is monitoring newly-created pedestrian zones outside schools in the London borough of Croydon by deploying an solution which is more commonly used to enforce bus lanes and moving traffic contraventions.
The system, which uses automatic number plate recognition technology and features Siemens ITS LaneWatch cameras, operates during the morning and afternoon school runs.
It appears to have acted as a deterrent. “At one school almost two thirds of pupils are now walking, cycling or scooting to school, compared with barely half this time last year,” says councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for environment, transport and regeneration, at Croydon Council.
Child safety during school runs has become a hot button issue for local councils as parents routinely double-park or contravene zig-zag line restrictions outside schools to drop their children off.
Local authorities are seeking solutions: Videalert is using a mobile enforcement vehicle at other UK schools, for example.
Noel Frost, head of enforcement for Siemens ITS, says the cameras in Croydon remotely access operating schedules and authorised vehicle lists to make sure they are capturing correct information.
Cameras are mounted on existing street lighting columns to monitor vehicular access to the restricted areas. The system identifies potential contraventions in real-time using any number of permitted vehicle lists, the company adds.
These cameras gather video evidence before and after activation and record a contextual overview and a still image of a vehicle registration mark to help operators determine any extenuating circumstances for the contravention.
The encrypted recorded evidence is transferred from the camera using the using the in-built 3G/4G cellular transmitter and then processed on the Siemens hosted core server for operators to review. This team can turn the evidence into a penalty charge notice.
The schools involved are Heavers Farm and St Chad’s in Selhurst and Woodcote in Coulsdon.