Cameras to Record Car License Plates

United States
April 1, 2007 5:10pm CST
Today our local newspaper ran a story about one of the municipalities that was going to have a four-camera system that can snap lictures of one license plate per second, per camera, and instantly run them through local and national crime databases. The purchase of the cameras was funded through forfeiture funds, or money or property confiscated from criminals. The county Sheriff's office is already using the system and another municipality is considering getting one. What do you think about this crime-fighting technique? Does your city or county have it? Do you wish it did? For more information and to read the complete story, go to http://www.sun-sentinel.com/plate
8 people like this
20 responses
• United States
1 Apr 07
I understand they have it in California. You run a red light, it takes your picture and the computer mails you a ticket. Kind of scary in a Big Brotherish kind of way, but probably also necessary. Cities just don't have the money for police to handle traffic, what with the rise in violent crimes. A related anecdote. They also have these cameras in Arizona. The husband of a friend of a friend was on a business trip in Texas, driving by himself. Or so his wife believed until she got the ticket (car was registered to her) showing her husband and her best friend running the light in Arizona. I guess I should say ex-husband as that is how she found out he was cheating on her.
4 people like this
• United States
1 Apr 07
I just loved your story about your friend's husband (now ex-husband). These cameras are only to catch vehicles with stolen plates or cars involved in an amber alert...not for giving out speeding tickets.
2 people like this
@horsesrule (1960)
• United States
2 Apr 07
We have the cameras here in Bakersfield California and they are to give out speeding tickets. At least they are here. If you are beyond that white line when that light turns red, instant picture, and instant several hundred dollars worth of ticket is mailed to your front door. It's a little scary. I try to be extra careful at the stop lights that have the cameras. I just don't want to take the chance of getting a ticket since I'd have to sell the car to pay it!!
3 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
I'm glad ours won't be used to pass out speeding tickets.
@taymouse (585)
• United States
1 Apr 07
That is amazing, technology is just shocking. Our area doesn't have this but I wish it did. It sounds so helpful and would do a great job for the police force.
3 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
Gee, I wish they had an edit for our discussions. I forgot to add that the cameras are ONLY for taking pictures of a license plate to see if it's stolen...not for giving tickets for speeding or running a red light like in many other places. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
• India
2 Apr 07
The System sounds great, about having a computerised system to moniter particular areas, but it has more loop holes than advantages. if u think the criminal way u too may see the loop holes clearly... for e.g. forged licenced plates, or may be in rainy seasons the licence plates become all muddy, the error introduces in the capturing the picture, the processing and memory overhead etc...
3 people like this
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
2 Apr 07
Hmmm interesting. I can see that being very helpful in fighting crime issues, like stolen cars, or kidnappings, abductions, drunk drivers etc. I will have to check and see if any of the cities in our San Diego County have installed those, we have the RED LIGHT camera's and I can tell you those are some expensive tickets. They start at a mere $384! OUCH OUCH, but I can tell you people quit thinking they are special and they don't run that light any more. Thanks for the info.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
That's a steep price to pay and I can understand why some people would be more careful now.
2 people like this
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
28 Apr 07
Thank you for "BR" I appreciate it very much
@cynddvs (2950)
• United States
28 Apr 07
The city I live in has started putting cameras at a lot of major intersections. But our cameras are to catch people who run red lights. I haven't heard anything about them taking pictures of license plates just to run them through a crime database. But who knows. I don't normally stay up to speed on these kind of things unless it's brought to my attention. But I think our cameras in my city are great for what I know they do. It seems to be cutting down on some of the accidents.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Apr 07
I'm all for cutting down on the number of accidents that occur daily. One of the cities south of me is now installing the cameras to catch people to run red lights. It'll be interesting to see if it stops some of it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Apr 07
Cool! It's so amazing how technology works. And that's so vigilant of your government coming up with this solution for criminal problems and using your funds rightly. I haven't heard of this one yet here in our country, and yeah I hope our government officials would come to think about this to cut down the criminal cases we have here.
• United States
5 Apr 07
I can definitely understand. Seems like crime is very high everywhere.
1 person likes this
@jcgbrains (139)
• United States
2 Apr 07
It is an interesting idea, and perfectly legal, as long as they have a set policy about what to do if there is a problem with one of the tag numbers, and they follow it. The license plate of your car, as you drive down the street is there for the public to look at it, there is no clearly unconstitutional act in what they are doing. The only problem I have is that they are likely not set up to uniformly deal with any cars who have a problem, based on running the tag. In general I think it is a good idea but would want to look at the success others had had with it before suggesting any jurisdiction get one. Espically looking at how successful they were in uniformly dealing with problem tag numbers.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
Our county sheriff's department already uses them, so I'm sure they'll be following the same guidelines.
• India
2 Apr 07
that is soo cool....i mean my country recently started using cameras...and now this new thing has come up...really great it would be...if ppl obeyed all the rules
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
Very true.
• United States
2 Apr 07
We have a whole bunch of these in my city and their ok I guess. They really make you think twice about going through any lights when they turn yellow. But after we got them there were news stories about how they were giving out most of the tickets in the poorer parts of town. And news channels had pictures of city workers getting caught by them (even the mayor) and getting the tickets thrown out. So its not really fair in that sense. But Im sure it makes the intersections a lot safer.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
That's not what our cameras are for. I posted earlier in here exactly what they're going to be used for. Ours will only be used for finding stolen cars, stolen tags and cars that are being mentioned in an amber alert. You're right that it's not fair when everyone isn't treated the same when they break the law.
1 person likes this
@avonrep1 (1863)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I think it is an invasion of privacy. Big brother getting way to involved in our lives. Alot of big cities have done this for years. The city I live in started installing them about 5 years ago. America is no longer a free country. It is sad, to many laws that don't make any sense, and more and more of our freedoms are getting taken away. No one seems to care, because it is in the name of protecting Americans from terrorist. I know Americans can protect ourselves for terrorist, we don't need to lose more and more of our freedoms to do that. The heros on flight 93 proved that. I think the American government under estimates the American people.
• United States
2 Apr 07
These cameras are ONLY to check license plates to see if the car or license plate has been reported as stolen, or if the car has been mentioned in an amber alert. I don't consider that an invasion of my privacy. Yes, on many of the other things our government has done since 9/11, I feel they have overstepped the line in trying to protect us from terrorists. They've really messed up by trying to be politically correct and not using their brains...
1 person likes this
• Ireland
2 Apr 07
There are talks about the same kind of system coming in here in Ireland. All Garda cars will have these cameras on them and once they read you licence plate, if your insurance, tax etc is out of date, it will start beeping in their car and they can then pull you over and give you a ticket.
• United States
2 Apr 07
Wow! That might be a big help here in South Florida where so many people do not have car insurance, an up-to-date drivers license, or even a proper tag on their cars. Our car insurance rates are so high because of so many uninsured drivers in our area. It kind of makes you scared to get out there on the road and drive.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I HATE it! more privacy and freedoms lost for the sake of "health and safety" It is as though "Health and Safety" is the religion of the new millennium. Yes, we live in a very small community surrounded by small communities (less than 2500 here, less than 1100 in the surrounding towns) and the cameras are everywhere. I do not trust the motive for these devices, I think the health and safety issues are excuses
2 people like this
• United States
2 Apr 07
Our cameras will only be used to locate cars or license plates that have been reported as stolen and cars that are mentioned in amber alerts. I think this might help. I'm glad they won't be issuing speeding tickets or tickets for running red lights with these cameras.
1 person likes this
@onabreak2 (1162)
• United States
1 Apr 07
Wow, I think that is great. No they don't have that here but they sure could use it in Portland,. One of the problems is a lot of time these creepy people steal license plates and put them on their car when they belong to someone Else's car. But it sounds like a really good deal. If they can just catch one pervert that way I would think it would be worth it.
• United States
2 Apr 07
You and me both. There are so many cars that are stolen here in Florida, so maybe this will help find some of them. It will also be used to locate cars listed in amber alerts.
2 people like this
@roofi86 (13)
• Pakistan
2 Apr 07
This is the new innovation toward crime fighter it is really good for other and simple innocent citizens . i actually apperciate all those who participate them in . camera is them most authentic prove and crime whic canot be denie . police will got big very big help out by these new form of securities . and citizens got reliefe out of crimes
2 people like this
@worldwise1 (14888)
• United States
2 Apr 07
Our city has had it for a couple of years now. It has been very controversial though. I do not drive, however I can see the benefit of such a thing. I see nothing wrong with it as long as the system is not abused.
@smkwan2007 (1038)
• Hong Kong
2 Apr 07
There are always cameras around the town where I live to monitor crime happen. I think it is good because it forms a means to stop the outlaws from breaking in houses or hurting innocent people.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I am not aware of any however they seem to be flawed and some that have been caught on camera, at least the car was, have fought it in court. People do speed and there has to be something done about them however the camera with picture taking and issuance of tickets is not exactly what I think should be done. We will be getting more cameras in our lives as time goes by.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
2 Apr 07
As far as I know our city dose not have such a system in place. I would welcome such a program if it would reduce the crime and ade in capturing criminels.
@deebomb (15323)
• United States
5 May 07
AS the population grows and people don't believe that the laws apply to them, new measures are need to stop any kind of crime from running red lights to finding stolen cars, finding kidnapped children, and the catching those not insuring their cars, and illegal tags, and expired tags is going to be needed. The time that is spent on chasing these small petty crimes takes the police away from the bigger criminals. I for one think they are necessary. Yes we do seem to be losing freedoms but when we stop thinking about others we will need more laws to protect not only our selves but others. What amazes me is that the cost of this technology is not higher than it is.