A New Way To Monitor Downtown Parking

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Not only when it comes to speeding but when it comes to parking as well. For those who try to beat the system, your time is limited. Right now parking enforcement officials with the City of Rockford come around and chalk our tires. It's a sign to us that they were there and we need to move. To officials it indicates that a car is past the parking limit and a ticket needs to be issued.

In 6 weeks the City of Rockford will have a mobile license plate reading vehicle out on the road. Instantaneously a data base of wanted vehicles is being searched. Your license plate will be scanned. The date, time and location of your vehicle along with an image of the vehicles tires is documented and stored in an on-board computer.

City Traffic Engineer Steve Ernst says, "It gives you a small photograph of the tire and shows the valve stem on the tire and the position. It does that with every license plate it reads so that when it comes back and alerts the operator that there's a violation the operator can pull up before and after pictures and you can tell if the car has moved because the valve stem of the tire is in the exact same position."

Right now the City of Rockford chalks about 500 to 600 cars a day. This new system can do 1,600 tires an hour so the city expects to target more vehicles and find more violators. The mobile license plate reading system costs $70,000. Back in 2001, the City of Rockford did a test run of this system. With the increase in revenue that was collected at the time, the city was able to pay for this new equipment in about 22 months.