Residents and vacationers in Rehoboth Beach who like backing into parking spots are in for a rude awakening thanks to new restrictions and new tech.
Starting Friday, drivers won't be allowed to drive into parking spots rear-first as the Delaware beach town rolls out a new meter monitoring system that requires license plate detection. Instead of parking enforcement officers walking around, individually checking meter receipts, a vehicle with cameras will be driven up and down parking areas to collect license plate information.
"It reduces staff time on the ground and it's just so much more efficient," Rehoboth Beach Communications Specialist Krys Johnson said.
The new system works by having drivers punch in their license plate number when they're paying for parking at a meter. Drivers will receive a receipt, but they will no longer be required to display it on their windshield, meaning they can hit the beach or the boardwalk without having to go back to their cars.
Cameras on each side of the parking enforcement vehicle will then use the license plate number that was punched into the meter to scan plates at parking spots and determine whether a car has overstayed its paid time limit.
So why won't cars be able to back into parking spaces anymore?
Delaware is one of only 19 states (including Pennsylvania) that do not require front license plates, meaning that if a car backs into a spot, its rear license plate won't be facing the street and the parking enforcement vehicle's cameras won't be able to scan it.
This new rule will also help ease the holiday traffic jams common in the 1-square-mile city, since it usually takes longer for people to back into a spot than to drive in front-first, Johnson said.
The rule is permanent and will still be in effect after the summer holiday season.
Those who do back into a spot will receive a warning upon their first offense. After that, they'll get a $50 ticket, Johnson said.
For more information on parking in Rehoboth Beach, click here.