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ALPR - coming to your town soon?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

ALPR - coming to your town soon?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 28, 2009

What is ALPR? Automatic Licence Plate Recognition. Big Brother is watching...

Watch this interesting video from British Columbia: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/340543/alpr_license_plates/

So much better than driving along McHenry County roads and running license plates individually to find out if an owner (not necessarily the driver!) might not have a driver's license. Eliminate driver distraction. Save patrol cars!

The driver of a vehicle equipped with ALPR can check thousands of license plates in a day, all without the driver's hands leaving the steering wheel. Imagine that!

One of the important uses is searching for uninsured vehicles. Boy! Could they ever use that in New Mexico, where about 60% of the cars are uninsured. And in McHenry County? What percentage of vehicles are uninsured?

If the insurance companies and the Secretary of State Department of Motor Vehicles ever really got serious about taking uninsured vehicles off the roads, they could implement this system. When an insurance premium was five days late, computers could go into action and trigger all the follow-up procedures. Special enforcement officers could show up and remove license plates.

After all, it's pretty easy to spot a vehicle with no license plates; right? Vehicle owners and drivers would quickly learn that mandatory minimum insurance coverage means m-a-n-d-a-t-o-r-y!

No insurance? No license plates!

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