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Nice trials video software to fine drivers who block cycle routes

City is testing software that automatically detects vehicles parked on bike paths

Cycle lanes along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice Pic: Alena Veasey / Shutterstock

For the next three months Nice is experimenting with a trial form of video ticketing for vehicles parked in bike lanes.

The detections will be done automatically thanks to new software before being checked by an official.

Nice has more cameras per square metre than anywhere else in France - 3,900 - and it also has 73km of bike lanes.

The pilot scheme is being tested in nine areas around the city where a large number of infractions take place, mostly by delivery drivers parking over cycle lanes.

Any vehicle (the software can pick up cars, trucks and two-wheelers) parked on a bike path will be identified by an algorithm and after one minute the software will notify an operator of the Urban Surveillance Center (CSU) who will be able to validate the infraction.

The experiment has been going on since early December and an average of 50 infractions per day have been spotted in the areas tested. 

"Here you have an alarm that has just sounded on the video operator's station, so we know that there is a vehicle that is on the bike lane, and that has remained on the lane for more than a minute, so the vehicle is ticketable," explains the agent in the video above.

Zero tolerance for delivery drivers

It is the agent behind the camera who issues the fines, using his discretion depending on the situation. 

There will be zero tolerance for delivery drivers, who claim Nice is already a nightmare because it has so many cycle paths. 

“There will be nowhere to park. It will be chaos,” one driver told The Connexion.

Anthony Borré, First Deputy Mayor of Nice, told France3: “The software was made in France and cost us €100,000. At the end of the three months, if the experimentation phase is "conclusive", the city council intends to extend it to other roads.”

Mr Borré mentioned around 20 agents are employed in the scheme, working around the clock to spot infractions.

Cyclists in Nice welcome trial 

"Nine times out of ten, there is someone in the way [of the cycle lane]. Often it's delivery people, sometimes cars parked for five minutes but very often scooters or motorcycles" says Daniele Sottile, member of the Nice cycle association Nice à Velo.

He always calls the police to report these violations. "It puts us in danger because the cyclist has to get out of the lane without looking back. We've been asking for this for a long time, so we're happy… we hope that, in a few months, we will see the effects”.

According to Gaël Nofri, deputy mayor in charge of transport, traffic and parking, 6,000 tickets are issued each year in Nice, two-thirds of which are thanks to video surveillance. .

Related articles 

France confirms €250million investment in push bikes by 2023

France to spend €43m to improve cycling paths

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