A new car designed to check cars have a current warrant of fitness and registration is about to hit the streets.
The public can expect to see the new i-PARK scan car driving Rotorua's inner city streets as it undergoes testing and driver training.
Rotorua Lakes Council said in a statement today, once testing and training was complete, the scan car would be driven through the CBD with an initial focus on vehicles that do not have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) or registration.
It will later help parking wardens with issuing parking infringements.
Rotorua Lakes Council community compliance team leader Kurt Williams said the scan car aimed to improve efficiencies in monitoring and enforcing inner city parking policy and to ensure the parking system was fair and consistent for all users.
"Initially the scan car will compare the licence plate it scans with information available in the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) database to identify vehicles that do not have a current WoF and/or registration.
"If the scan car identifies a car with an expired WoF or registration, within the parameters set by council, it will automatically issue an infringement which will be sent in the post to the registered owner of the vehicle," Williams said.
"The information held in the database is available to enforcement agencies and is the same information our parking wardens have always relied on. Using the scan car is just another, more efficient way of doing things."
Rotorua Lakes Council provides a 28 day grace period for vehicle owners to renew an expired WoF or registration before an infringement will be issued.
Williams said the scan car reduced the manual nature of the work.
"We realise this is quite a new and innovative way of doing things, and appreciate it may take some getting used to."
Once an infringement is issued the system will be programmed to ensure a second infringement cannot be issued for another seven days to give owners a chance to renew their WoF or registration.
In the future, the car will also be used to identify vehicles that have not paid for parking, exceeded the amount of time they have paid for, or exceeded time restrictions.
An alert will be sent to the parking wardens who will then check the car and issue an infringement notice if appropriate.
i-Park general manager Mike Kelly said the scan car would be an integral part of an effective parking system for the CBD as it would allow multiple vehicles to be quickly scanned.
"Our role is to undertake the enforcement of the council's parking policy as efficiently and effectively as possible."
The council's monitoring system relied on chalking vehicle tyres, using the 'eyes in the ground' sensors to alert parking wardens to cars that have exceeded time-restricted parking spaces, and more recently the i-PARK handheld scanners used to scan licence plates, followed by the introduction of the scan car.
The scan car, which is an electric vehicle will monitor on-street parking between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and 9am and 12pm on Saturdays.
It will monitor vehicles' WoFs and registrations at all times and will be available to help with various events and functions as required.
Changes to inner-city parking have previously come under fire.
The phasing in of Rotorua's new parking machines began in November last year and aimed to improve inner-city parking in Rotorua.
Earlier in the year some business owners said the changes had been poorly communicated. Other said the payment methods raised concerns, as only half of the new parking machines accept coins and there are extra charges for using a visa card and being sent a receipt.
The roll out of the system has also prompted a number of letters to the editor.