Unattended Illegal Parking Enforcement: The Power of Fines and Physical Evidence
Policy Implementation Period
2004: Construction of the Automated Parking Enforcement Service.
- Apr. - Sep. 2004: Execution of pilot project (installation of 32 cameras).
- Mar. 2008: Installation of an additional 156 unattended enforcement cameras (by March 2008)
- May – Nov. 2004: Commissioning of the basic/work design for the illegal parking enforcement service; selection of locations for installation of additional cameras under the expansion project, and finalization of the system specifications.
- Dec. 2004 – Aug. 2005: Installation of an additional 53 cameras as part of the expansion project.
- Aug. – Oct. 2005: Installation of an additional 32 cameras along Cheonggyecheon-ro.
- Aug. 2006 – Feb. 2007: Installation of an additional 51 cameras along Cheonho-daero and other locations.
- Sep. 2007 – Mar. 2008: Installation of an additional 20 cameras along Songpa-daero and other locations.
Traffic enforcement refers to the processes involved in enforcing criminal and administrative laws and regulations against violators of traffic laws and regulations, which are carried out to ensure safe and efficient traffic movement and prevent the disruption of road traffic. Enforcement efforts had been undertaken exclusively by human enforcers at the police and local government level until the introduction of the automated enforcement system in 2004.
As public officials are a finite resource, full-time traffic enforcement cannot be achieved with human resources alone; nor can the outsourcing of enforcement services provide a viable or ultimate solution. In sum, human-only enforcement is virtually incapable of guaranteeing uninterrupted, continuous implementation. This situation has led some violators to believe that they simply had “bad luck,” and thus to express their dissatisfaction with the punishment imposed. For such reasons, human-only enforcement has been the focus of a multitude of frequent civil complaints regarding the overall fairness of traffic enforcement. The limited scope of a single person’s cognitive ability also raises questions about the unfairness of enforcement and other unjustified practices in the course of carrying out such enforcement.
Another issue with human-only traffic enforcement is that it often causes traffic accidents, and can lead to or even exacerbate traffic congestion. However, traffic regulation violations (including illegal parking) disrupt the efficient use of traffic facilities in various ways, resulting in the serious disruption of both traffic and circulation. In this sense, traffic enforcement is as crucial an element as the construction of yet more traffic facilities.
State-of-the-art automated traffic enforcement services were introduced as a way of overcoming the limitations of human-only traffic enforcement and thereby realize the full potential effect of traffic enforcement.
The Importance of the Policies
Seoul undertook wide-ranging reforms of its public transportation system in 2004, having previously drawn up the plan for the construction of the ITS in 2000. The announcement of the ITS plan spread the notion that efficient traffic systems can be achieved with innovative approaches using cutting-edge technology.
The sweeping reforms of the public transportation system resulted in the introduction and widespread use of various means and tools that were considered to be capable of radically improving traffic efficiency and the overall quality of road services - including the integration of bus services, the integration of traffic information, and the introduction of bus-only lanes. However, if those traffic facilities and tools could not operate properly or carry out necessary tasks due to rampant violations of the traffic laws and regulations, any additional investments and facilities would have been viewed as nothing more than a waste. From this perspective, the automation of parking and bus-only lane enforcement could play a critical role in ensuring the effectiveness of the policy means and tools for improving the quality of road services and road traffic efficiency.
Relevance with Other Policies
Furthermore, unattended enforcement services may be used for multiple purposes including such services as traffic monitoring and traffic data collection, rather than just the remote enforcement of parking regulations. More specifically, they can be used to inform the public of the city’s traffic policies through the video link function and integrated monitoring by TOPIS, as well as to analyze the effectiveness of the installation locations.
- Speed Enforcement Service
- Policies to reduce traffic accidents
- Drive-by Parking Enforcement System
The automated traffic enforcement services are provided through automated systems to identify vehicles which violate traffic laws and regulations using various imaging and automated recognition technologies. Ultimately, the services are designed to prevent traffic accidents and ensure traffic safety in a more efficient manner.
By providing these services, the city seeks not only more efficient - but also fairer and more transparent - enforcement.
The agencies in charge of traffic enforcement can use such services not only to manage their manpower more efficiently, but also to facilitate the handling of other related work– such as the manual enforcement and issuance of parking tickets.
Main Policy Contents
1) Legal Basis
The Road Traffic Act (June 13, 2008, Act No. 9115) provides the definitions of ‘stopping’ and ‘parking,’ the regulations concerning standing and parking, and the appropriate method of enforcement. Article 87 (2) of the Enforcement Decree of the Act stipulates that evidence may be gathered using unattended equipment when identifying parking violations through the parking enforcement services. Article 87 (Special Exceptions, etc. to Parking Regulations with Delegated Authority)
Where the Special Metropolitan City Mayor or the Metropolitan City Mayor directly discovers and regulates a vehicle that has violated the parking regulations pursuant to paragraph (1), he/she shall make known such instances to the district leaders and country heads that have jurisdiction over the locations where such violations occur by furnishing them with the appropriate evidential materials, such as photographs of a vehicle on which a notice indicating that a vehicle is subject to the imposition of an administrative fine has been attached, or any photographs, videotapes or any other visual recording medium of a vehicle that has violated the parking regulations taken by an unattended monitoring device (hereinafter referred to as "photographic evidence”), and a document that describes the location at which the violation has occurred, the details of the violation, and the license plate number of the vehicle.
2) Authority of Enforcement
Government officials of the cities and counties, as well as the police, have the authority for parking enforcement. If each mayor of special and metropolitan cities delegates his or her enforcement authority to the district leaders and county heads, the enforcement officials of each autonomous district have the authority for enforcement. Under Article 86 (Delegation or Entrustment of Authority) ② Pursuant to Article 147 (2) of the Act, each mayor of special and metropolitan cities shall delegate the following authority to the district leader and county heads under his/her jurisdiction: <Amended on June 20, 2008>
1. The authority to appoint and dismiss traffic enforcement officials (belonging to each district and county) under Article 12 of the Act, and the authority to take measures against vehicles that violate the parking regulations referred to in Article 35 of the Act;
2. The authority to have the task of towing, possessing and returning vehicles performed in proxy by an agent pursuant to Article 36 (1) of the Act, and the authority to place an order to take measures and conduct the education necessary for the performance of works pursuant to Article 36 (3) of the Act;
3. The authority to impose and collect fines under Article 161 (1) (3) of the Act (limited to violations falling under any of Articles 32 through 34 of the Act).
3) System Structure
The automated parking enforcement service system is composed of on-site subsystems and the center subsystem. Specific components may vary depending on the equipment specifications and methods of enforcement. However, a typical system composition is as indicated in Figure 1 below. Figure 2 shows Seoul’s parking enforcement system.
On-site subsystems should be fitted with the equipment necessary for identifying parking violations and collecting evidence. Ideally, the enforcement agency (center) should be able to monitor the parking enforcement areas and the current status of enforcement in real time.
The enforcement agency (center) should have the necessary equipment for imposing fines on the owners of vehicles that have violated the regulations based on the evidence produced by the system. It is also recommended that they possess a server for the real-time monitoring of the enforcement sites and operation of the parking enforcement services.
The enforcement agency (center) may also choose to build a DB or link the relevant information from other agencies, and build a DB server or linkage server for such purposes.
Figure 1: Illegal Parking Enforcement System
Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (2009)
Figure 2: Seoul’s Illegal Parking Enforcement Systems
Source: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (2009)
|Detection Camera||Automatically records the entry, movement, and exit of vehicles in and out of the enforcement site.|
|Enforcement Camera||A high-definition digital camera records evidence of parking violations.
Operated via control signals from the on-site control unit.
|Zoom Lens||This lens adjusts the detection area of the camera so as to enlarge or shrink the collected images within a specific range.|
|Housing||Protects cameras and lenses from vibrations and sunlight|
|Image Server||Compresses images collected from the site and transmits them to the center in real time.
The center transmits audio data to guide the violating vehicles at the site.
Transmits serial signals for various on-site control functions.
|Control Enclosure||Designed to maintain the components in the optimal condition and protect them from vibration, sunlight, smoke, and other forms of interference.|
|Pan/Tilt||Controls the direction of the cameras so as to take photos of violating vehicles.
Provides accurate and stable position control and high-speed control.
|Power Control Unit||Provides a stable supply of power to on-site equipment, and enables remote power control.|
|Operation Terminal PC||On-site monitoring, control of on-site equipment, display of status information, issuance of guidance, and printing of violation notices.
Performs various functions for viewing, editing, revising, and registering the DMBS 3).
|Operation & Management Terminal||Monitors enforcement status and real-time traffic situations, and stores information in a DB.|
|Data Processing Server||User account management, plate number recognition system data management, system operation and management, on-site equipment management, enforcement information list management, database link, and system management (shutdown, plate number recognition data).|
|Video Storage Terminal||Enables the storage, search, and display of videos from the site. Enables videos to be searched by time, date, and time zones in the event of a civil complaint. Performs event log and enforcement list management.|
|Database Server||Stores and backs up enforcement data, updates detection areas and parameters, controls recording commands and vehicle detection functions.|
|DISK ARRAY4)||Stores and manages data in preset folders at a specific cycle.
Backup software consists of the Master Module, Client Module, and Disk Backup Module.
|Required a)||Plate Number Recognition server||Automatically recognizes plate numbers from the photographs of vehicle number plates.|
and Transmission Server
|Distributes and transmits enforcement videos from each site to the departments and agencies that require them.|
|Processes videos from the Video Distribution and Transmission Server in formats required by the respective departments, and manages the information on the history and display status of on-site videos transmitted to each department.|
|a) Required: Must be set up either in the onsite system or the center subsystem.
b) Optional: To be selectively implemented as required.
3) Operation Organization
Automated enforcement services require a specific space from which to monitor the enforcement status, whereas semi-automated or manual enforcement systems require manpower to monitor and operate such systems.
The overall system of parking enforcement consists of two parts: one responsible for direct operation of the enforcement services, and the other for handling administration related to the imposition of fines. Therefore, each part should be manned with suitable personnel.
4) Current Status of Unattended Parking Enforcement Systems in Seoul
In Seoul, parking enforcement systems have been installed on 42 four-lane (or less) roads (22%), 50 six-lane roads (27%), and 96 eight-lane (or more) roads. Seoul’s enforcement systems are concentrated around the city’s main roads. Specifically, parking enforcement systems have been installed on 42 four-lane (or less) roads (22%), 50 six-lane roads (27%), and 96 eight-lane (or more) roads. The table below shows the status of parking enforcement systems across different roads and autonomous districts. The total number of systems in the entire city was increased from 188 in 2007 to 252 by late 2014.
Table 3: Current Status of Unattended Illegal Parking Enforcement Systems Installed on Roads (In 2007)
|Road||Number of Systems Installed||Road||Number of Systems Installed||Road||Number of Systems Installed|
|Name of autonomous districts||Number of Systems
|Illegal Parking||Bus-only Lane||Installed in Bus||Public
Note) Bus-installed type systems are based on the bus depots.
1) Effects Before and After Installation
|Target Location||2004||2005||Rate of Increase/Decrease|
|Seoul Art Center
Nambu Circular Road
|Target Location||Number of Enforcement Equipment||Illegal Parking
|Change||Rate of Increase/Decrease|
|Nonhyeon Station → Kyobo Tower||3 locations||163 units||47 units||-116||-71%|
|Kyobo Tower → Gangnam Station||1 location||144 units||90 units||-54||-37%|
|Gangnam Station → Woosung Apartment||1 location||116 units||66 units||-50||-43%|
|Total||5 locations||432 units||203 units||-220||-52%|
|Division||Parking Violation||Bus-only Lane|
A Wonju official said, “The fully automated system is capable of unattended enforcement around the clock, thus enabling parking enforcement at night and on holidays. This has resulted in a six-fold increase in the number of illegally parks vehicles identified.” He also added, “We will also operate two vehicle-mounted cameras to enforce the parking regulations at night, focusing on areas where illegal parking has been disrupting the traffic flow.” (Korea Economic Daily, November 20, 2008).
2) Effect Analysis through Demand Survey
Figure 3: Findings from the Suwon demand survey
3) Enables a significant reduction of on-site dispatches and workload while preventing illegal parking very effectively - automated plate number recognition with monitoring cameras (more than 100m away) (Geonah Information Technology, 2016)
Challenges and Solutions
|Imposed||Collected||Collection Rate (%)|
2) Fixed CCTVs face limitations in that drivers who know the locations and range of the devices can predict or avoid traffic enforcement. Therefore, drive-by enforcement equipment is expected to be used more widely as a way of overcoming the shortcomings of the previous systems. Mobile automated enforcement equipment has proved its effectiveness in several cities. Specifically, it is a piece of all-weather removable enforcement equipment consisting of a monitoring camera (installed on the roof of a vehicle) that rotates by 350 degrees and is capable of taking up to 30 photographs per second at a speed of 40km per hour. The camera remains equally effective at night or under adverse weather conditions thanks to its infrared capability.
In 2007, the equipment was installed in four districts of Ulsan (excluding Ulju-gun), and the results were notable since it accounted for 27% of the total number of parking violations detected in one month (including enforcement by personnel and by fixed-type equipment).