The small Prince Rupert bylaw buggy is no more.
The City of Prince Rupert has purchased a new bylaw enforcement vehicle, replacing one of the town’s more character-laden and identifiable sights in the downtown region, the old and tiny bylaw buggy, only slightly larger than a go-kart.
The new van, slim in width, but tall in height, has enough features to make James Bond jealous.
Licence plate recognition software (electronic chalking), a database full of licences, vehicles and drivers, amber alert functionality, rear flashing lights, a mounted camera on the hood, and room in the back for animal control cages all make up the features of the flashy new vehicle, that has been in use since the start of the year.
It may not have the old buggy’s charm, but it makes up for it in functionality and efficiency.
“It enables our bylaw officer to be able to cover three routes in 45 minutes,” said City of Prince Rupert communications manager Veronika Stewart last week. Previously, the officer could only get to one route per day.
The officer will continue to patrol the outer, more residential areas on a complaint basis, with the efficiency of the vehicle affording him to complete a wider array of duties.
The City’s officer, Patrick Lindquist, can now use the single van for dual purposes of animal control and monitoring parking.
“He doesn’t have to go back and change [vehicles], so it’s pretty good in saving time,” said Stewart.
Infrared sensors take pictures of licence plates on the new van and software used by the vehicle “allows the input of vehicle licence numbers for pass holders at Rushbrook Improvement Area and other City operated parking lots”, which lets the officer know which designated vehicles are supposed to be where and for how long, the City’s press release stated.
The release also noted that in the case of a dispute, the officer is able to generate a print-out showing the map location of the first and second picture frames, to go with the plate number, GPS location, civic address, date and violation.
But admirers of the old buggy shouldn’t fret, as it will still be in use for spot-duty along with the other vehicle Lindquist operated before the City acquired the new van.