Saturday, January 13, 2007


Plate Reader Helps Cops on the Road

by Greg JohnstonPublished Jan 12, 2007

The Livingston County Sheriff's department now has a new tool to assist them on the road: a license plate reader. It’s all thanks to the division of Criminal Justice.
The instrument consists of two cameras mounted to the top of a patrol car and software loaded into a laptop computer.
As the deputy drives down the road, the system automatically recognizes license plates and compares them against a list of stolen or suspended plates on the laptop.
Typically, a deputy has to manually enter a license plate number to check the status of it.
The city of Rochester received a license plate reader back in 2005.

I know I'll certainly sleep better... how 'bout you???


Gene Bach said...

I used to live in Santa Rosa, in the northern Bay Area of CA. That place had the reputation of being the worst place on the planet for people driving through intersections while the light was turning red. After they installed the cameras things got a whole lot better.

That beieng said, I'm not a big fan of government surveilance. Unfortunately sometimes stupid people bring in on themselves and then everybody is stuck with it.

Be better to just shoot the stupid people. LOL!

Women on the Verge said...

We've had cameras at intersections too... whether they help or not I can't say... however, I see that as starkly different from the police being able to drive by the parking lot while I'm in the grocery store picking up my Ben&Jerry's "Chubby Hubby" and being able to tell if my registration is up, and if my inspection is overdue ... remember what they say about absolute power?

TomCat said...

I wonder if Homeland Security dollars were used to pay for this? If so, they could be far better spent.

Not Your Mama said...

Ambivalent here too. Having spent 20 years living in California which in many areas is like living with Traffic Cop Gestapo (I've had 0 moving violations or accidents in 27 years of driving so I'm not a terrible driver) I WOULD have given this a big thumbs down.

3+ years in Nevada, I'm not so sure. Almost no traffic enforcement here and the death toll to prove it. Other crimes: through the roof. We made #1 as "most dangerous state in the nation". Yay us.

One of those areas there needs to be some limits but maybe not an entirely bad thing.

two crows said...

remember a few years ago when a group of Quakers was targeted as a national risk-- because they were planning a completely legal demonstration against the Iraq war? their names were entered in a national data base so they could be tracked wherever they went and whoever they talked to could then be followed.

a bit later, the Supreme Court stopped the police from using infrared cameras to snoop inside the homes of people whose crime was having Arabic- sounding names.

so, now they'll read the plates on the cars outside the meeting where people are planning a peaceful demonstration at the Washington Memorial or near a nuclear reactor sitting on a fault line.

technology is a wonderful thing.

Women on the Verge said...

If this could ONLY be used for traffic enforcement, etc, I don't think I'd have as big a problem as I do, but I'm afraid that what two crows brings up will become the norm as time goes by. I guess the question becomes twofold-- at what point does it become unacceptable, and how do we prevent that point from ever being crossed?

two crows said...

unfortunately, the gov't NEVER stops with using such means for traffic purposes.
it starts with traffic and goes on from there -- unless the court tells it it can't.
do you see that happening in today's political climate?

women-- you're point about absolute power is absolutely correct, imo.

Women on the Verge said...

Hey, not to be paranoid, but do you think Time Warner is at the root of all of this?

two crows said...

haven't heard about this: what's T/W up to, these days?