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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Police use new plate reading technology

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The License Plate Readers (LPR) mount to the trunk deck of a state police cruiser. By the end of 2011, the LPR's will be linked into the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle database.
Indianapolis --There are circumstances other than poor weather or road hazards who create hazardous driving conditions. They're people that drive without ever having had a valid driver's license or are such poor drivers they've had their license suspended or revoked.

These people are driving and they're a hazard to every other driver on the road. They aren't discovered until they commit a traffic violation, or worse, they cause a crash resulting in injury or death. Of the more than 4 million licensed drivers in Indiana, there are more than 222,000 suspended drivers and over 30,000 other drivers who have had their license to drive revoked for five to ten years or even for the rest of their life.

Now the Indiana State Police is using technology to find these unlicensed drivers. The technology is a License Plate Reader (LPR) system mounted to the trunk deck of a state police cruiser.

The use of LPR's by the Indiana State Police is a pilot program that started in June of 2011. Over the last several months, refinements were made to the LPR software to meet the needs of reading Indiana license plates and reduce the potential for false alerts. Presently there are four LPR equipped state police vehicles deployed across Indiana. These permanently equipped LPR cruisers are assigned to troopers at the Lowell, Bremen, Putnamville and Sellersburg state police posts.

By the end of 2011 the LPR's will be linked into the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) database and will be capable of identifying those vehicles whose registered owner has a suspended or revoked driver's license or is registered to an operator who has been deemed a habitual traffic violator. In the near future, the system will also be capable of identifying vehicles with expired license plates greater than 30 days, but less than a year from expiration.

The suspended driver is a threat to the motoring public due to their repeated unsafe driving behavior or failure to maintain the proper insurance. Identifying the unlicensed or unqualified driver with this technology will help make the roads safer for everyone. Verifying if a vehicle is properly registered ensures the vehicle was insured when it was plated and applicable taxes and fees have been paid to help maintain roadways in city, county and state locations across Indiana.

The commander of the Indiana State Police Operations Support Division, Major Brent Johnson, commented, "We're very excited to put this technology to use in Indiana. People who drive with a suspended or revoked license pose an increased risk to the responsible licensed drivers in Indiana. This technology will undoubtedly save lives by helping our troopers identify unlicensed drivers and get them off the road."

The LPR works by constantly scanning license plates -- at a rate of up to 1,800 per minute -- as the police cruiser passes by vehicles while parked or when vehicles pass the state police vehicle on the highway. They are capable of reading license plates from every state in the union, plus Canada. When a license plate is read by the LPR it's compared to existing BMV databases to verify whether or not the registered owner has a valid license. However, locating drivers who are not properly licensed isn't the only value of the LPR system. The LPR will alert the trooper to any license plate read by the system that has been entered in the nation's national database. This would include license plates listed as stolen or associated to cars that have been stolen or involved with some criminal activity. The LPR system could also identify a car being driven by a missing person or a Silver Alert victim as well as vehicles associated with an AMBER Alert.

Each LPR system costs about $22,000. The four systems now in use were purchased by the state police with grant funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For more information about LPR's, visit the manufacturer's website at: http://www.elsag.com/about.htm.

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I can understand the value of identifying the vehicle if stolen, however, the plate doesn't identify the operator. I'm seeing a lot of man-hours spent stopping vehicles just to find that while the owner may have a suspended license, the current operator has a valid one.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Nov 2, 2011, at 10:36 PM

I totally agree with you Leo and i would like to say we are one step closer to a police state that will dictate and follow our movements with this technology that is being used on us

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 1:05 AM

I done think that is right for them to use this. This system is no different that cameras at stop lights, or the speed cameras like they use to give tickets in bigger city's. If they dont catch you they shouldn't be able to punish you for it.

-- Posted by MS660 on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 5:43 AM

Why does this have a feel of giving up freedom for "security"?

-- Posted by brazilian on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 9:41 AM

I see this as giving up a freedom,but at the same time a blessing in an Amber alert if it could save a child. As far as on people whose lic. have been suspended its only good if they do something.I know a person who as been stopped a number of time with suspended lic. false plates they give them tickets and they dont pay them.I dont think this will stop people

-- Posted by kd323 on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 10:23 AM

I hope he comes through town when some of the local lawn mowers are parading on our fair, yet, rutted streets! Then maybe he can pull them over for mowing while intoxicated! You would think in the winter time the least the one guy could do is put a snow plow on the front of his Snapper! I mean he drives all over the town, he could at least help the street department.

-- Posted by WickedSpring64 on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 10:27 AM

don't forget the mopeds, at least terre haute makes them reg. and have insurance on them. this town is runned down you have to except lawn mowers ,mowers, golfcarts on our streets, let alone drunks and criminals. LOOK around!

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 12:11 PM

I think it's a great idea!

I don't believe this will waste man-hours pulling over the wrong person. You'd think that with the information, they'd have a description of the owner as well? Maybe even a copy of the D/L?

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 12:56 PM

Police dictatorship at its finest

-- Posted by T-REX on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 1:57 PM

I like the idea of this, but question its accuracy. However, if it does prove accurate, I think it could seriously put a dent in the number of expired plates, unlicensed drives, and wanted individuals that are driving around on our streets. kudos to ISP for implementing something that can really make a difference.

As for the comments of a "policed state", I don't see how this accomplishes that, though I do understand your concern.

@MS66o your comment stating that "if they don't catch you, you shouldn't be punished", is absurd. Does that also mean that it is ok to kill someone, as long as you don't get caught?

@carebuttonbroke I had to laugh a couple of days ago. I was sitting at a stop light, and in the turn lane was a woman and a child on a riding lawn mower. You're right; there are a ton of these on the streets, being used as transportation.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 2:24 PM

Why not just not let them register a car?

-- Posted by RDK on Thu, Nov 3, 2011, at 2:26 PM

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