The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) has rolled out Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras along the Plumtree-Mutare Highway.
“We are introducing the basic short-range cameras at all the tollgates along the Plumtree-Mutare Highway which will recognise the number plate of an exempted car approaching the tollgate at a speed of 70km per hour”Moses Chigonyati, ZINARA Technical Director (via News Day)
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system is used for a number of reasons. The United Kingdom’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) for example, uses them to process passing traffic to identify vehicles of interest to the authority. This helps the DVSA to target which vehicles to stop and check for unlicensed drivers or untested vehicles.
In our case, ZINARA will be using the technology to automatically process exempted vehicles and residents who have discounts.
Once a camera picks up the plates it then relays that information to a database and if the vehicle meets the criteria the boom gate automatically opens. On top of the ANPR cameras being deployed along the Plumtree-Mutare Highway, the technology was said to be already in use at the Norton tollgate and the rollout program to other tollgates is well underway.
“The long-range cameras recognise cars that will be moving at a speed of 160km per hour so we settled for the short-range camera on the understanding that no motorist will approach a tollgate at a speed of 160km per hour. The biggest advantage of this system is that toll collectors will no longer go out of the booth to physically verify if the vehicle is exempted or not and, they do not need to scan an exemption coupon physically on the document scanner. This is going to shorten the transacting time at the tollgate.”Moses Chigonyati, ZINARA Technical Director
Furthermore, the system will also reduce the toll booth operators needing to physically scan expired exemption coupons. The ANPR cameras will also make it easier for operators when they are processing ZINARA cards. Usually, they would need to manually input the number plates of those vehicles.
“These cameras will also allow future developments like licencing and system processing and verification of road transit coupons, but principally for now this is going to reduce processing time at the plazas and allow road users to spend less time on the queues.”Moses Chigonyati, ZINARA Technical Director