Automated license plate recognition system helps police bus lanes

One of the many minor road offences that annoy drivers around the UK is unauthorised vehicles that use bus lanes to avoid queues at traffic lights or roundabouts. Hull Council has recently used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to catch over 10,000 motorists using two of the city’s bus lanes illegally over a two week period.

Global automatic number plate recognition comes to Hull

Although ANPR systems are mainly used by police forces to identify those who are driving without insurance or road tax, or are driving a suspect vehicle, it has many other potential uses, including traffic analysis. The results of Hull’s bus lane trial may result in a permanent fixture of cameras, focused on areas where breach of rules like bus lane usage is high. The Council said that drivers were less likely to abuse bus lane privileges if they knew they were likely to be caught on camera and fined, and that this would increase the efficiency of public transport.

Such use of these cameras to police offences works if they are well planned and well-advertised, and if the fines are kept within acceptable limits. This may help the driving public to see them as a viable deterrent rather than a cash-generating project for the councils that implement them.

The cost – automatic number plate recognition systems

Just like speed cameras, drivers need clear warnings that such filming is taking place, and in most cases the warning alone is enough to dissuade drivers from creeping into the bus lane in order to gain an advantage over waiting traffic. Reports suggest that those penalised for traffic offences are more likely to pay their fine if they are directed to photo or video proof, and ANPR systems would be extremely useful in this regard. Whilst they may be costly to buy and install, the long term benefits to traffic movement and driver safety is likely to be worth the investment.

Automatic number plate recognition products from RDS

At Road Data Services, we offer specialist automatic number plate recognition software and equipment for traffic survey use. We build these cameras in-house, producing units that are more accurate and reliable than many on the market, and which include infra-red sensors so that they can work just as well in the dark.

Extremely useful for monitoring anything from journey times to car park usage, these ANPR systems offer an outstanding technological solution for a wide range of end users. To find out more about our range of cameras and to talk about your next ANPR or traffic survey project, just contact us today.

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