Australia Installs Parking Meters That Call the Cops When Your Time Runs Out

Parking scofflaws have come up with several ways to thwart time restrictions in parking spaces — wipe the chalk off your tires, switch license plates (which we would never recommend). Those solutions are now out the window thanks to underground sensors that alert the authorities when you’ve overstayed your welcome.

New parking sensors in Melbourne, Australia, will automatically notify the closest meter maid or traffic patrol when a car has lingered five minutes past the time limit.

The sensors will be buried beneath each parking space, and will record when a car moves in and out of said parking space. After counting up to the posted time limit, the system will ping the parking inspector who is closest to the offending vehicle, who will trudge over to write you a ticket.

The newspaper The Age reports it could be a boon for the Melbourne city government, which already reaped a whopping $36 million (in U.S. dollars) last year from parking enforcement. Melbourne expects to garner another $3.2 million a year from the new sensors, which cost $5.8 million to install.

For the record, we much prefer friendly, helpful pro-parker technology, like apps that help you find open parking spots or water filtration systems that turn lots’ stagnant puddles into oases of clean water.

But like RFID-enabled hotel towels, this suggests a future full of technology designed to make sure no one ever gets away with anything, even something utterly innocuous. It’s not a far leap to a generation of sensors that use NFC to automatically bill your credit card for traffic transgressions.

So much for sprinting back to the car to move it across the street.

The Age