Spy Copter Tickets You From The Sky
from the efficiency-in-ticketing dept
Bob Dole writes “The problem with red light and speed cameras, from the police side, is that not everyone speeds or runs red lights. Plus, people figure out where the cameras are located and avoid getting tickets. To solve this dilemma, UK police have just tested a helicopter capable of issuing camera tickets from the sky. The helicopter uses Automated Plate Number Recognition (ANPR) to scan 5 plates per second. Of course, the reason police say they’re deploying the technology is to catch terrorists and car thieves. UK figures, however, show that in 2004, 51,000 ANPR tickets were issued for minor violations like using a cell phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt. Having expired auto insurance earns a $378 ticket. The UK government wants every police force in the country to have at least one ground-based ANPR system, and it hopes to store all the data scanned in a centralized database.” This is the same device we’ve spoken about before — though, you have to wonder if they’re really going to be using helicopters to track down people who have overdue library books. It can’t be particularly easy for helicopters to get themselves in a position to scan license plates.