Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Cameras to be used to crack down on illegal parking: Ko

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Surveillance cameras are to be used to crack down on illegal parking “hot spots” in the city, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

“There are some locations for which the city government has received up to 10,000 reports of illegal parking every month, forcing the police department to send officers to patrol the site 24/7,” Ko said. “Rather than having police officers act as scarecrows, it makes more sense to just directly install surveillance cameras for ticketing purposes.”

He added that the new rules would apply only to the city’s top 10 illegal parking hotspots, leaving most of the city’s surveillance cameras — of which there are more than 14,000 — unaffected.

Ko said that he had conducted an investigation and found that there is no law forbidding the use of cameras in issuing parking tickets, adding that laws are passed for the sake of administrative efficiency rather than to gum up the work of government.

On Friday, he used stronger language, referring to city councilors who opposed the change as “shit-brained.”

Ko has made reducing police officers’ superfluous duties a priority, last month cutting in half the list of tasks for which police officers are obligated to assist other government departments, eliminating duties such as ferrying around students taking standardized tests who forget their “test card” or go to the wrong test-taking center.

Taipei City Councilor Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗) of the Democratic Progressive Party condemned Ko’s announcement.

He said that even if using surveillance cameras for illegal parking ticketing is not technically illegal, it goes against the original reason for their implementation, which was to guarantee public safety. He said the city government should address the issue by increasing the supply of legal parking spaces, rather than simply handing out more tickets.

A source within the city government said Ko’s decision was controversial internally, because of concerns that using the cameras for ticketing would lead to disputes over whether people were present in illegally parked cars.

Under city law, any parking along a red line is illegal, but fines are substantially lighter if a person is inside the vehicle. Unlike police officers, surveillance cameras cannot easily verify whether a person is in a vehicle, the source said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top