Don’t risk parking illegally in CCTV monitoring zones!
As drivers, we are often tempted to park or stop to wait at a location that is most convenient for us. These reasons are probably familiar to some of us:
• “It’s only for a short while.”
• “I’m not obstructing traffic.”
• “Other drivers are also waiting.”
The temptation to take the risk and park is especially high if we have looked around and determined that there is no traffic enforcement officer waiting to pop out and book us. Even if such an officer is around, we often attempt to talk our way out of a ticket by citing the above reasons.
Beware of cameras
In case you haven’t noticed, there are now parking enforcement cameras set up at many hotspots for illegal parking. These areas are being watched around the clock without the need for physical officers on the ground. The fully automated smart camera system is said to be capable of detecting and differentiating between parking and dropping off.
The scheme, which started in April 2014, has been so successful that, as of December 2018, more than 300 of such parking enforcement cameras have been deployed in 149 locations. See the list of locations here.
John Ng, who picks up his wife and son from Bishan MRT regularly, has noticed the increased presence of these CCTV cameras all over Singapore in the past few years. “Singaporeans are very sensitive to the word ‘fine’, so the difference is obvious — quicker drop offs and no hanging around,” he observes.
Parking vs waiting
Under the Road Traffic Act, to ‘park’ means to bring a motor vehicle or a trailer to a stationary position and cause it to wait for any purpose other than that of immediately taking up or setting down persons, goods or luggage. This clearly rules out waiting, even if it’s for a short while.
Recognising a CCTV monitoring zone
CCTV monitoring zones are marked by the bright orange vertical strip painted on lamp posts or sign posts. Passenger pick-up points with CCTV near MRT stations, such as at Bishan and Clementi, sport ‘no waiting’ signs that remind motorists they are not allowed to wait at these locations. The penalty for parking in restricted zones is a fine of up to $300 and three demerit points.