New tech buck­les down on park­ing vi­o­la­tions

Cam­eras part of Win­ter Park’s strat­egy to man­age long­stand­ing is­sue

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Joe Mario Ped­er­sen

Win­ter Park is a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for Cen­tral Florida vis­i­tors, but it’s also frus­trat­ing for peo­ple who can’t find park­ing on the con­gested spa­ces along Park Av­enue.

As a re­sult, the city be­gan us­ing new tech­nol­ogy last month to help cut down on park­ing vi­o­la­tors.

“I’ve been [in Win­ter Park] for 27 years, and park­ing has al­ways been an is­sue,” said Win­ter Park Po­lice Lt. John Mont­gomery. “We’re look­ing to make it bet­ter and fair for every­body.”

In Oc­to­ber, res­i­dents and vis­i­tors may have no­ticed that the park­ing at­ten­dant pa­trol car is now equipped with two mounted li­cense plate reader cam­eras.

The new tech­nol­ogy is part of Win­ter Park’s strat­egy to man­age its long­stand­ing park­ing is­sue in the cen­tral busi­ness district and down­town area, and it seems to have al­ready made an im­pact.

In the plate reader’s first month of use, Win­ter Park recorded 170 park­ing ci­ta­tions — each a penalty of $25, ac­cord­ing to Win­ter Park records.

It’s a stark in­crease from Septem­ber, 108 ci­ta­tions, and Au­gust, 56. In Oc­to­ber of last year, Win­ter Park is­sued 35 ci­ta­tions.

The plate reader logs in the time and lo­ca­tion of each ve­hi­cle the pa­trol car passes in what may feel like Big Brother is watch­ing, and that’s the point. Win­ter Park is watch­ing — for vi­o­la­tors.

Win­ter Park al­lows driv­ers to park along the roads of the

JOE MARIO PED­ER­SEN/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

New li­cense plate reader cam­eras have been mounted on the Win­ter Park park­ing pa­trol car.

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