Sydney uses iPad to stop disabled parking fraud

By Paul Hemsley

Tablet technology from Apple is assisting City of Sydney Rangers to identify and fine people fraudulently parking their cars in disabled spots.

In a trial phase for Rangers to access the state government database of Australian Disability Parking Scheme (ADPS) cards that have been lost, stolen, destroyed, revoked, or were once for the deceased, the City currently has one iPad on the field to access the monthly spreadsheet.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) publishes the spreadsheet comprising of 47000 invalid cards, which is too large to store on rangers’ conventional hand-held devices.

City of Sydney director of city operations, Garry Harding said rangers can now make on-street checks of ADPS cards, which will help drastically reduce their fraudulent use.

“In some inner-city streets, there are more cars parked with ADPS cards displayed than cars without,” Mr Harding said.

A City of Sydney spokesperson said there is no new hardware or software involved in the scheme as it is all existing “off-the-shelf” material.

“It’s really just a question of the rangers on the street having the capacity to be able to download that database and see the information and then they just compare what they’re looking at on the vehicle with what’s in the database,” the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, there is no specialised app for the rangers to use.

“It’s a list of all the disability parking permits that are valid to this day with the names and details of the people who hold them, which is obviously quite a bit of data and too much for the smaller devices that the rangers have been carrying," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the iPad has the capacity to download from the RMS database.

“While it is using new technology, it is still around, they just haven’t had access to it before; it’s almost a logistical thing rather than a technological development,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said there are currently no numbers at the moment for procuring more iPads for rangers but if the trial phase works, the City will look into expanding the project.

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