CCTV cameras fail to curb illegal parking

THE LAND Transport Authority (LTA) switched on cameras at 10 hot spots for illegal curb-side parking yesterday – but this did not deter motorists from flouting the law at at least five of them.

The Straits Times visited all 10 areas between 12pm and 5pm and spoke to drivers who had left their vehicles there.

Many had not even noticed the “Parking Enforcement Camera” signs, let alone the new cameras.

Such was the case in Jurong East Central, where at least 10 cars were parked illegally within a half-hour stretch.

“All the carparks are full – how to park?” said a 65-year-old retiree, who wanted to be known only as Peter. “The only other option is to park quite a distance away but that would be inconvenient.”

Other motorists believed that the signs – about the size of an A3 sheet of paper – are too small.

Mr Steven Ng, 33, said he was just parking for a “few minutes”, and did not notice them.

“I know it’s illegal to stop even for a short while but I’m just here for a few minutes and it’s troublesome to park in a carpark,” said the construction firm employee. “I will try not to park here now that I know of the cameras.”

Sales manager Loh Koon Chuan, 50, who was parked at a passenger pick-up point in Bishan Road, felt the signs should be “bigger and more prominent”.

The signs, displayed on lampposts, warn of a fine of up to $300 and up to three demerit points for those caught parking illegally.

The LTA receives around 1.4 million public feedback messages each year, among which illegal parking and electronic road pricing are the major issues.

An LTA spokesman said it will monitor the situation at the 10 new camera locations, which also include Boon Lay Way, Serangoon Central and Commonwealth Avenue West.

Trials of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been found to have improved the situation in some areas.

“There used to be a lot of cars jammed together because of illegal parking,” said Ms Lily Ho, 54, who works at a clothing stall in Marine Parade Central.

“It could take up to 10 minutes to drive through the small stretch of road. Now it is not too bad even on weekends and during peak hours.”

Cameras will be switched on at 20 more locations, including Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and River Valley Road, by September. This will bring the total number of locations monitored round-the-clock for illegal parking to more than 80.

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