Licence Plate Recognition FAQ

What is licence plate recognition (LPR)?

Licence Plate Recognition is often referred to as electronic chalking.

Traditionally, parking officers patrol car parking on foot and "chalk" tyres or manually inspect pay and display tickets.

LPR uses photo recognition to do this by recording and cross-referencing licence plate numbers.

This is done using an LPR camera, mounted on a Council patrol car, that is connected to an on-board computer.

In practice:

  1. Parking officers drive along a street or area and record licence plates using in-car Licence Plate Recognition.
  2. Officers complete a second "pass" along the street or area at the end of the regulated parking limit. In a 2P area this is every 2 hours; in a loading zone every 20 or 30 mins, and so on. 
  3. At the end of the section, LPR cross-references photos taken in both passes to determine if a vehicle has overstayed in the parking bay.
  4. Parking officers stop the vehicle, print out any parking infringements and place a ticket on the offending vehicle's windscreen if a valid permit is not displayed.
  5. It no offence has been committed, all photos and data related to the vehicles are permanently deleted from the system.

Why is Council introducing LPR?

Licence Plate Recognition greatly reduces the amount of time that parking officers need to spend on patrols.

This will free up our inspectors to focus on other parking-related matters such as:

  • Vehicles blocking drive ways
  • Vehicles parked illegally in disabled parking bays
  • Enquiries regarding regulated parking in the suburbs
  • Reviews of other areas to ensure future planning
  • Review and patrol of school zones

We currently receive an average of 125 parking-related complaints each month.

The long-term objective is to remove metered parking in the city and off-set this with more patrols to ensure motorists are adhering to time limits.

What information is recorded when using LPR?

The LPR system takes a photo of the vehicle number plate. If the same licence plate is recorded in the same location at the end of the regulated time period, a second photo is taken.

Both photos are retained as evidence of an offence taking place as we currently do.

The system records the day, time and location of the vehicle.

If you do not overstay in the parking bay the photo is automatically deleted from the system. Nothing is recorded.

Before LPR, Council parking officers would take several photos of your vehicle, recording the date, time and location as well as the vehicle's VIN (vehicle identification number) and a photo of the signage in the area.

Your VIN is not recorded under LPR.

What information will Council keep about my vehicle?

If you haven't committed a parking offence, Council does not keep any information. If you have committed an offence the LPR information - licence plate photos, time, day and location - is retained for our records.

Who will have access to the LPR records and photos?

Council's Local Laws compliance officers will be able to access LPR records and photographs for the execution of their duties - processing fines and responding to requests to review the offence.

Please note, if you haven't committed a parking offence, all data gathered using LPR is deleted immediately.

Isn't this a revenue raising exercise?

The introduction of LPR is based around efficiency so parking officers have more time to investigate parking-related complaints and issues. 

 As always, motorists will only be fined if they break parking regulations.

Last updated: 07 October 2015