Kent County Council launch scheme to fine bad drivers

Kent County Council launch scheme to fine bad drivers
Under a new scheme being launched by Kent County Council, the regions bad drivers could soon a range of fines in an effort to change motorists' behaviour.

Drivers will receive a fine of up to £70 for ‘bad habits’ such as driving in bus lanes, ignoring no entry signs, blocking yellow box junctions, and other examples of ignoring signs or road markings.

Offenders will be excused for a single offence within the first six months of the scheme’s introduction.

Following this, the fine can be halved if the driver pays within the first three weeks.

The actions will be captured by a set of new cameras across the county, which have automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology installed.

Any illegal activity by drivers will be recorded by the cameras, and then the data then be processed by the council.

Then fines will be issued to any offenders by the Transport Cabinet Committee.

Although there is no date for the launch, it is expected to be in spring 2024.

Sean Holden, Chairman of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, stated that the goal of the scheme was to change the behaviour of offenders and insisted that it was not a way for the council to generate income.

What is ANPR? And how will they catch bad drivers in Kent?

ANPR stands for Automatic Number Plate Recognition, and it is a technology that uses optical character recognition cameras to read vehicle registration plates combined with ‘vehicle location data’.

They are used to catch drivers who are breaking the law or the rules of the road.

In many cases, they catch people travelling in bus lanes, or blocking junctions.

However, ANPR cameras are used nationwide for traffic management, electronic toll collection, and parking enforcement for both councils and privately owned car parks.

The data and images are stored on a database that councils and the police can use to issue fines.

A document from the Kent County Council read: "Once the ANPR camera has registered a contravention, the back-office system processes the information and identifies whether the vehicle is on an allowed list.

"This is a list of the registration plates of authorised vehicles, in which case no further action is taken.

"If the plate is not on the allowed list, the system sends the captured evidence for review. At this stage, a member of the team assesses the evidence to establish if a contravention has occurred.

"If it has, the case progresses to issue a warning notice or PCN. If the evidence shows otherwise, for example, a car pulls into a bus lane to enable a police car to pass, the case is cancelled, and no further action is taken."

Learn more about ANPR cameras here.

Would you like to see ANPR cameras introduced nationwide to catch ‘bad drivers’? Or is the just a way for councils to generate extra revenue from residents? Leave your comments below.

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