Authorities in Paris are planning to roll out a fleet of “spy cars” to automatically levy fines on unruly drivers who refuse to pay the city’s parking charges.
City mayor Anne Hidalgo has proposed using 20 cars fitted with monitoring technology to catch out those cheating the system.
The vehicles are capable of scanning 1,500 cars an hour to see whether they have paid relevant parking charges in the city center, according to The Times of London.
The cars offer a potential fix to Paris’s laughably dysfunctional parking enforcement system, which is ignored by the vast majority of drivers.
The inefficient scheme is said to cost the city some $330 million per year in unclaimed parking revenue, as fewer than 10% of drivers pay to use their spaces.
The city currently levies only 15 fines per day, despite employing 1,600 parking wardens.
Punishments are so rare that the vast majority of drivers ignore the system entirely.
Maximum parking fines are €17 ($19). Given that paying honestly costs €4 per hour, and almost nobody is caught, there is currently no incentive to obey the rules.
Under Hidalgo’s spy car plan, fines will rise to as much as €50 and be far better enforced.