Nobody parks for free: Coquitlam to upgrade parking enforcement tech

photo supplied artistmac

It’s bad news for parking scofflaws.

Coquitlam is looking to add new parking cameras that can recognize and read licence plates at multiple angles and across one-and-a-half lanes of traffic.

The city recently issued a request for proposals for two automated licence plate recognition systems to be installed on a pair of 2022 Ford Mavericks.

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With the new system, the bylaw cars wouldn’t need to stop or even slow down to track overdue parkers. The tech is capable of spotting and storing the GPS location of parked cars – as well as how long they’ve been parked there – while the Maverick rolls down the street at normal road speeds.

The cameras are designed to read licence plates from cars either parked or moving on either side of the bylaw vehicle.

The systems also need to be able to read and interpret licence plates perpendicular and parallel to the Maverick. The document also includes a request for an ability to: “load third party information and obtain alerts on recognized license plates.”

While there are no plans to share information with a third party, the city wants that versatility, explained the city’s bylaw enforcement manager Aaron Hilgerdenaar in an email to the Dispatch.

“No information would be shared with third parties unless there is the appropriate authority for the City to do so under the legislation, and after having the City having completed a detailed privacy impact assessment,” Hilgerdenaar explained.

Primarily, the cameras are intended to use live-time monitoring to focus on parking violations. However, the tech can also read the licence plates of moving vehicles, much like the tech police use to track uninsured cars.

That information can be used “for traffic counts and combined with aggregated and anonymized vehicle registration data can help support data informed decision making for transportation planning,” Hilgerdenaar wrote.

The cameras are also intended to be able to scan wheel images to determine if a vehicle has moved or not.

The city’s current licence plate readers have “reached the end of reliable usability and require replacement,” according to request for proposals.


The contractor “must protect personal information” and not store personal information outside Canada or permit access to personal information from outside Canada, according to the request for proposals.

The deadline for contractors to apply is May 16.


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