Newsroom

Paris bike lane
Cameras turn tide on bike lane blockers

Paris is the first major city to deploy cameras to enforce the rules against motorists parking, stopping or otherwise blocking bike lanes.

Some 900 cameras are being positioned across the city to keep an always alert eye on selfish drivers who would never stop in the middle of the road to drop off a passenger, but seem to think that stopping in a bike lane is fine and dandy.

Now they will be fined, and not so dandy.

And the cameras are not just watching bikes lanes: they are scanning for 16 offences that are troubling the city.

“We see far too many motorbikes, scooters in the areas especially reserved for cyclists. We also see a lot of uncooperative people, who park in bus lanes, cycle lanes,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo, said.

Other offences include not giving way to pedestrians and blocking an intersection when the traffic banks up.

Paris has just started rolling the system out, but they are already clocking up 200 offences per day.

Australian cities are also alert to the possibilities of the technology.

Cameras first appeared on our streets to monitor traffic flow, and then as a public security tool.

And, of course speed cameras and red-light cameras have long proved their value to road safety.

More recently cameras have been trialled to monitor on-street car parking compliance.

Technology has advanced rapidly, and the camera vision, analysed by powerful computer software, can identify the offence, and the vehicle, with the resulting fine in the offender's inbox before the car gets to the next intersection.

The technology is also of great interest in the USA where police forces are said to disproportionately enforce traffic rules against black drivers. But with cameras and computers doing the enforcement, bias is removed from the picture.

Reporting local bike lane blockers

Local councils usually have online systems which you can use to report illegally parked vehicles that are blocking bike lanes.

Enforcement officers can then be sent to investigate and issue appropriate fines.

Some will also respond to social media messages and posts, but is best to use to recommended method of reporting.