Camera to combat illegal parking in Hartlepool
Automatic number plate recognition technology has been brought in to tackle illegal parking in Hartlepool, especially outside schools.
As part of a new road safety initiative the council is using a vehicle fitted with a camera and computer system.
It drives around the town and records details of those parked dangerously or inconsiderately.
The information it gathers can then be used to issue penalty charge notices of up £70.
Funding of £40,000 for the vehicle and its associated systems came from the council's 2010-11 Local Transport Plan, a pot of capital money provided by the government to fund transport schemes.
Councillor Pamela Hargreaves, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at the Labour-controlled authority, said: "I have been approached by a number of headteachers concerned about the level of inconsiderate and illegal parking outside schools, despite previous educational and promotional awareness campaigns.
"We believe the car will help us to improve safety, but it is also important to stress that motorists have nothing to fear if they abide by traffic regulations and park legally."