Don't Try Driving On The Ohio Turnpike In A Stolen Car

from the or,-um,-change-the-plates-first dept

Beck writes "The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that they tested a license plate scanning system on the Ohio Turnpike last summer. The system scanned the plates of cars entering the Turnpike, and alerted the Patrol when it detected a car that was reported stolen, or was owned by a wanted fugitive. Troopers were then able to locate the car and pull it over. They say that the system identified 24 stolen cars during the test. The Highway Patrol says that the scanners only looked at lists of stolen cars and fugitives and did not access BMV records, nor did they retain a record of scanned plates." Of course, not everyone is thrilled with this, and some are saying it's an invasion of privacy (though, you can easily argue that if you're driving on a public road, it's hard to see how your license plate is "private.") Meanwhile, car thieves everywhere will quickly adjust and do fairly simple things like (a) skip the turnpike and (b) change their license plates. Then, suddenly, this system doesn't make as much sense.
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2005 @ 4:10am

    No Subject Given

    So at least we can catch the stupid ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 6 Jan 2005 @ 5:37am

    Changing Plates

    Yep, it's hard to see how this violates anybody's privacy. It's the equivalent of a state trooper sitting on the side of the road watching for stolen cars.

    As for criminals changing the plates on stolen cars, all the state has to do is adjust the system to also identify the make and model of the car and check BMV records to ensure the plates match the registration. Yes, it requires checking the BMV records that they say they currently don't do, but I don't have a problem with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Seth, 6 Jan 2005 @ 6:47am

      Re: Changing Plates

      The privacy issue depends on how much tracking they do of where you drive. If they are just ckecking your plate against a list of stolen cars and then throwing out your number, it's not big deal. However (and more likely) if they are keeping track of where you are, when you are, it then becomes a privacy issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Tim, 6 Jan 2005 @ 7:14am

        Re: Changing Plates

        The camera has a predictable location in space-time, so they *would* know where you are when.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Seth, 6 Jan 2005 @ 9:48am

          Re: Changing Plates

          The camera has a predictable location in space-time, so they *would* know where you are when.

          But would they store that information. That is the line I personally wouldn't want them to cross.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2005 @ 4:03am

        Re: Changing Plates

        If you watch COPS on Tv, often you will see them just randomly checking license plates of cars they see on the street. What is the difference between that and letting a computer do it?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Oliver Wendell Jones, 6 Jan 2005 @ 7:16am

      Re: Changing Plates

      I once asked a cop friend why they don't just put jumbo-sized bar codes on the platest and laser scanners on the fronts of police cars so they can scan every car in front of them.

      His reply was that to do so would be a violation of your 4th ammendment right to improper searches. He said it's the same reason they can't sit in their cars with their radar guns on 24/7, they have to believe you are speeding before they can clock you.

      Once you let the government start a system like this, how long until it does hook into the DMV database? How long until it stores all the information in a database so they can track where everyone was at?

      I'm not the tinfoil-hat type, but this sort of thing is a slippery slope that it's best we stay away from.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2005 @ 8:09am

        Thanks Big Brother

        I always find it amazing how often we are willing to give up our freedom for perceived security ...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Chomper, 6 Jan 2005 @ 9:33am

          Re: Thanks Big Brother

          I'm always amazed at how many people don't give alternatives.

          It's so easy to bash others who have so called "Big Brother" solutions.

          How about showing some intelligence by offering an alternative.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 6 Jan 2005 @ 11:42am

    Cops & Freedom

    I once asked a cop friend why they don't just put jumbo-sized bar codes on the platest and laser scanners on the fronts of police cars so they can scan every car in front of them.

    His reply was that to do so would be a violation of your 4th ammendment right to improper searches. He said it's the same reason they can't sit in their cars with their radar guns on 24/7, they have to believe you are speeding before they can clock you.

    Since when? There are many cops who sit at the side of the road with radar guns running, I believe. The reason they don't do it 24/7 is due to manpower and budget restraints, not "freedom".

    And what about DUI checkpoints? I personally believe they are a clear violation of the 4th amendment. Requiring everybody (or every nth car) to stop to basically check if they've been drinking without probable cause that they have been (seeing them weaving or driving dangerously) seems blatantly illegal. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court disagrees with me.

    I have no problems with police watching public areas 24/7. Protecting our safety is their mission. It's when they starting tracking our lives or truly invading our privacy that I draw the line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Earl Bailey, 16 Jun 2007 @ 8:23pm

      Re: Cops & Freedom

      Yah right.
      Ever try calling for an officer to check out a possible drunk driver,Yah Right. Never happens, they might have to leave a scene where someone was spitting on the sidwalk.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jean-Pierre Laurin, 7 Jan 2005 @ 3:11am

    Canada, Toronto city police

    The Toronto city police departement in Canada is doing it with patrol car scanning the license plate of park car along the sidewalk. This way they scan as they pass by a car plate and are alerted if a match is found in the list of stolen/wanted plates. It would be usefull to have it on every patrol car doing patroling on every street in the city. A thief would need to get away as fast as possible outside the city. Then we will need to put it over the hightway lane exit and entry. etc... Big brother is comming soon at corner near you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    No one important, 7 Jan 2005 @ 11:09am

    No Subject Given

    AS intrusive as some may think this is. I'll bet 100-1 that if your ride was jacked you sure would be thankfull if this exact technology is what stopped the thief from getting away with your car.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Earl Bailey, 16 Jun 2007 @ 8:13pm

    stollen cars on turnpike

    Good idea, I know people who had cars stollen and if they had this project back then more cars would have been recovered.
    Good job, do it again and don't stop
    Don't let the beurocrats stop you just because they think the criminals have more rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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