Improving Parking Enforcement Efficiency Through Technology And Innovation

May 15, 2018

Evolution of Enforcement

Many of us remember the days of chalked tires, handwritten citations, and the feeling of dread elicited by those tiny Parking Enforcement vehicles. Some of that remains in practice still today.  Since then, the technologies available to parking enforcement officers have evolved significantly, but so too have the challenges. Today, more than ever, Cities want an enforcement solution that is both effective and convenient – for the officer, city staff, and motorists. One Smart Cities provider has designed a system, built from the ground up that is redefining how Cities approach their enforcement.

Traditional Enforcement Methods Hinder Efficiency

Traditional enforcement methods are human-capital intensive and expensive. Without an integrated enforcement system to easily identify vehicles in violation, enforcement personnel must physically check each car on foot, verify the motorist has exceeded the time paid at the meter, and handwrite a parking citation. Even electronic tickets are written today with devices that are not wireless with access to real-time data updates. Parking enforcement officers are often perceived as the “bad guys” for doing their jobs, but in reality only a small percentage of parking violations are actually cited. Depending on the municipal code, officers may also be required to chalk the tires of a car in violation as many as four times before a citation can be issued. The result is a time-consuming process that can leave the enforcement officer at risk for an altercation with the motorist.

One Stop Enforcement Shop

Parking enforcement technology has evolved significantly in recent years, providing customers with greater flexibility and efficiency in their enforcement practices. One technology that Cities are turning to features a completely cloud-based solution that is fully integrated into a Smart Parking product platform and features a common backend to manage the entire portfolio. This eliminates the need for third-party integrations and allows customers to deal with a single vendor for their Smart Parking meters, citations processing, permit management and code enforcement. Convenient payment options increase payment follow-through by allowing motorists to easily resolve their citation. This consolidation of data leads to greater operational insight, better decisions, more flexibility when deploying new features, and the ability to have complete transparency.

Fewer Steps Equates to Safer, More Efficient Enforcement

With guided enforcement capabilities, officers in the field can instantly locate meters in violation on the mobile enforcement device – cutting down on time patrolling meters that still have time left – and provides the ability to virtually “mark” the license plate associated with the expired smart meter. The enforcement officer can then quickly auto-populate information to issue the citation via an easy-to-use Mobile Enforcement Device using Voice to Text and Character Recognition technology. Furthermore, citations are synced in real-time into the Enforcement Management System (EMS), allowing timely access to citation information for the City and the public. Officers also have the ability to void a ticket in the field, if necessary, through the EMS without incurring a cost per citation.

enforcement management system

Electronic Solution Decreases Operational Costs and Increases Accuracy

As the system is hosted in a highly-secured private cloud environment, no installation on the client’s end is required. Additionally, Cities benefit from reduced data entry costs as citations are entered electronically, improved data integrity (no transposed cites), and elimination of the need to re-key information from a paper citation into local, state, and court database systems. The Enforcement Management System interfaces with State DMV or NLETS (the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Service) via highly secured and encrypted communication methods to ensure vehicle registration information, such as holds and releases, are obtained and processed quickly and accurately.

The Parking Enforcement Management solution includes:

  • Mobile Enforcement System (MES): Lightweight but rugged and easy-to-use, the MES is available as an all-in-one 1-piece or 2-piece configuration and is Android OS and iOS compatible. The mobile enforcement system features real-time syncing and connectivity, high-resolution color photos, e-chalking and heat mapping, and provides scofflaw and customized notifications.
  • Enforcement Management System (EMS): The end-to-end cross compatible web-based citation management system manages the entire lifecycle of parking citations including issuance, adjudication, payment, DMV communications, and collections. The system features advanced search and manual citation entry capability, adjudication and disposition management, personalized report libraries, payment and refund processing, and notice and letter processing.
  • Permit Management System: The Permit Management solution may be implemented on its own but is also pre-integrated with the hand-held ticket writers and the Enforcement Management System (EMS). This fully customizable solution offers property managers for Cities, educational organizations, and other agencies the flexibility and convenience to manage the entire parking permit lifecycle from initial design through fulfillment via a web-based system available anytime, anywhere.
  • Citation Portal: The online public portal gives citizens real-time access to pay for and/or review their citation status and transaction history from an easy-to-use website.

While the act of issuing citations will never be a pleasant customer experience, the latest enforcement technologies can help Cities decrease operating costs, maximize efficiency, and increase the likelihood that the citation will be paid by providing convenient payment options. When parking regulations are fairly and efficiently enforced – and followed – it can be a win-win for both City and motorist.

Nicole Ybarra is the International Marketing Manager for IPS Group, a smart parking solutions provider.

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