UKY Debuts 21st Century Parking Enforcement

With the possible exception of the Bluegrass State's most cunning hot rodders, Bo and Luke Duke, the University of Kentucky's Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department should be nabbing more drivers with multiple unpaid tickets.

Using an automated license plate recognition from PIPS Technology (recently acquired by Federal Signal) the system uses two cameras that capture color images of the vehicle, and an infrared picture of the license plate.

Optical character recognition checks every plate against a data file of scofflaw vehicles with multiple outstanding violations. If there's a match, the system notifies officers via an audible and visual alert on their vehicle-mounted laptops.

The data file is generated using the PTS parking database and updated each morning using the PIPS back Office System Software, which logs on to an FTP site to get the data and send it to the PTS vehicle equipped with the PIPS cameras.

As proof that there's no escaping the long arm of the law, the vehicle located a car with six outstanding violations during an initial training run, and within its first 40 minutes of use, the system had read more 2,500 license plates and had located five vehicles with a total of 15 outstanding violations.

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane would be proud!

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at david@dkcopy.com.

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