Fleet News

CCTV cameras pile on work for fleet chiefs

BIG Brother-style monitoring of traffic using closed-circuit television cameras has sent fleet costs spiralling as the hi-tech systems catch even minor offences liable for fines.

Lex Vehicle Leasing has reported huge increases in administration as drivers are issued with fines, which is bumping up fleet running costs for customers.

The increase is so large that Lex has doubled the size of its fleet administration team to four people to deal with the level of fines coming in.

Debbie Morgan, service delivery manager at Lex, said: 'Between 2000 and 2001, the amount of tickets from local authorities has rocketed. We normally only see those that are overdue or involve offences captured on CCTV.'

The majority are offences more serious than a standard parking ticket and have obviously been issued though scrutinising CCTV records, she said, but that is not always the case.

'CCTV picks up everything. If you leave your car on double yellow lines, a week or so later you will receive a letter relating to the incident and demanding a hefty fine. Our only course of action is to pass the cost on to the fleet manager.'

The costs are also increased because an administration charge has to be added to the fine by the leasing firm.

Constant monitoring could also ruin careers, as the camera records can be used to issue warnings to drivers about suspected kerb-crawling.

The letters are first sent to the leasing company before they can be passed on to the fleet manager and then the driver.

Morgan added: 'In many areas, particularly the London boroughs, changes to legislation make it mandatory for LVL, as the vehicle's owners, to pay the fine, even if a driver wishes to appeal.

'Drivers can request the local authority to issue a CCTV picture to back up their fine, but even if they do, the majority end up paying fines that can sometimes run to a few hundred pounds.'

Reports of CCTV monitoring leading to fines have come from Bradford, Greater London, Manchester and Liverpool.

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