IU testing license plate cameras for parking regulation

Indiana University has started a yearlong test of using license-plate-reading cameras for parking regulation enforcement on its Bloomington campus.

The project that began in November involves a camera mounted on a vehicle and comes as campus officials plan a switch from hang-tag parking passes to a system involving license plates registered by the parking permit holder.

“It’s not really a pilot to evaluate if we want it,” campus parking operations manager Amanda Turnipseed told The Herald-Times of Bloomington. “It’s to figure out how to do it the most efficient way and with the least amount of hardship on our end users.”

Parking officials will consider issues such as how to track whether more than one vehicle registered to a permit are on campus at the same time and how to account for multiple people sharing a permit.

License plate readers are already used for parking enforcement in some cities and at other universities. Purdue University has been using such a system for a couple years, Turnipseed said.

Information collected from license plate scans will only be used for comparisons with IU’s parking database and analysis to help determine what the university will ask potential vendors to provide when bids are requested. IU is also testing a fixed-camera system mounted at the entryways of two permit-only parking garages.

“We’re not storing any of this data because it will not be utilized for enforcement purposes,” Turnipseed said.

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