BUSY shopping areas of Poole are to be patrolled by a camera car and drivers who park illegally risk a fine.

Borough of Poole is using its camera car which, since September, has been focusing on patrolling and enforcing parking restrictions outside schools, in busy retail areas.

The £67,000 Citroen camera safety car, which uses GPS satellite technology and an infrared camera system, has been used at school zig zags, bus stop clearways and taxi bays.

In order to deal with traffic congestion in some of Poole’s busiest shopping streets, the marked camera car will now be used in roads where loading and waiting is prohibited.

“We have seen the camera car working really well in other areas and know that it’s a cost effective method of preventing serious accidents and solving the problem of dangerous parking,” said Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation.

Drivers contravening loading restrictions risk receiving a penalty charge notice of up to £70.

Images captured by the camera car instantly record an offence using Automatic Number Plate Recognition and the vehicle owner will receive a notice through the post within two weeks.

The camera car will begin patrolling loading bays from Monday.

The vehicle had a slow start in enforcing parking in Poole, handing out just 11 fines to illegally parked motorists between its launch last September and December.

This was in contrast to Bournemouth’s camera car which averaged 158 fines a month during its first year in operation.