People with severe disabilities can park their vehicles in Bratislava's Karlova Ves a little bit easier since April. Karlova Ves, as the first in Slovakia, is testing a smart parking system that evaluates the eligibility of use of reserved parking spaces.
In the pilot operation, 23 parking spaces in Pribišova Street have been equipped with road sensors. These sensors cooperate with an electronic card that the owner of the reserved space has in their vehicle. As a result, the sensor can recognize whether the assigned vehicle is parked in the given space. If a disabled person's parking space is occupied by a driver who is not eligible, the system can evaluate this information and forward it further.
"We focused on a vulnerable group of drivers who either have a severe disability themselves or who drive someone who is disabled. It happens, either due to ignorance or recklessness, that other drivers occupy their parking space," explained Dana Čahojová, the Mayor of Karlova Ves. The system is still being tested and, if it proves itself, the city district will consider introducing it more widely. "We have these sensors installed in another location, in which we monitor the availability of parking spaces where parking time is limited. We are collecting valuable data," said the Mayor. In the future, this method could also be used for the introduction of resident parking.
Last year, municipal police dealt with 1,258 cases of unauthorized parking in parking spaces for persons with disabilities throughout Bratislava. There were 241 such violations in Karlova Ves. "This is a serious traffic violation which can be dealt with by a traffic ticket, or the road administrator can remove the vehicle at the expense of its operator," said Vladimir Šustr, Commander of the Municipal Police Bratislava IV Branch.
ParkDots is a part of Deutsche Telekom's Smart City offer. It combines state-of-the-art mobile, cloud and IoT technologies in order to improve parking. Although ParkDots was launched only last year, drivers and self-governments in seven Slovak cities are already using its services. In addition to Bratislava’s Karlová Ves also in Trnava, Trenčín, Liptovský Mikuláš, Dolný Kubín, Prievidza, and Nitra.