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Cameras to catch illegal parking, abandoned cars

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Drivers in Maitland and Morpeth be warned – new technology being rolled out across the city could see you caught out in an expired car park even faster. 

In a first for the Hunter, Maitland City Council is installing a new cutting-edge system that allows rangers to automatically register and monitor a car’s number plates as they drive past. 

AeroRanger, a two-camera system, will sit atop council vehicles to help rangers gather evidence to address those abandoned and illegally parked around the LGA. 

It’s part of the new Smart Abandoned Vehicle and Parking Management Program (SAVPMP) being rolled out this month. 

To further streamline this process, penalty notices will now be printed and posted by Revenue NSW on behalf of council and rangers will no longer attach fines to vehicles.  

Maitland City Council group manager planning and environment Matt Prendergast said the changes would benefit the wider community, including by “improving the turnover for short stay parking”.

“This smart technology will help us monitor vehicles that exceed parking timeframes so we can free up more short stay parking spaces near our commercial centres and allow more people to move through the area,” he said. 

“It will also help us track and prevent illegal parking and monitor abandoned vehicles so they can be removed in a more timely manner.” 

AeroRanger will be trialled in key areas over the next few weeks before the enforcement period begins. 

Areas include Central Maitland, East Maitland and Morpeth.  

These areas were identified by the community in the Central Maitland Parking Study as areas that need improved parking turnover. 

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In February, the NSW Government introduced new laws to the Public Spaces Unattended Property Act 2021 to address the increasing number of vehicles, including trailers, on NSW roads. 

They were deemed a safety risk or obstruction to road users or pedestrians as they were becoming an amenity issue “impacting on the environment and enjoyment of our public spaces by all”. 

The adjustments put accountability firmly on those responsible for removing their property quickly from public land. 

Under the changes if a vehicle is unregistered, or registered but not able to be legally driven due to damage, has been in the same place for 15 days, residents should contact their local council to provide details on the vehicle’s exact location, make, model, colour and number plate if known. 

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