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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Unlicensed drivers target of state police LPR system

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Indiana State Police have begun to outfit their cars with the License Plate Reader system on the trunk deck to help find unlicensed drivers.
PUTNAMVILLE -- When you hear talk about hazardous driving conditions, most people think of poor weather driving conditions or road hazards.

But there are other circumstances that create hazardous driving conditions. They're people that drive without ever having had a valid driver's license or are such poor drivers they have had their license suspended or revoked.

People like that are driving all around us and they're a hazard to every other driver on the road. And 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 more than 30,000 other drivers who have had their license to drive revoked for five to 10 years or even for the rest of their life.

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

Indiana State Police use of LPR's is a pilot program that started in June. 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.

In addition to an LPR-equipped cruiser assigned to a Putnamville Post trooper, there are three other units deployed across Indiana. LPR-equipped cars are also assigned to troopers at the Lowell, Bremen and Sellersburg state police posts.

By the end of 2011, 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 considered threat to the motoring public because of a repeated unsafe driving behavior or failure to maintain the proper insurance. Identifying the unlicensed or unqualified driver with the new technology can help make the roads safer for everyone, State Police believe.

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.

"We're very excited to put this technology to use in Indiana," Maj. Brent Johnson, commander of the ISP Operations Support Division, said. "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 is 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).

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To bad it can't identify undocumented, illegal, unlicensed persons driving freely around the state. Even when they are stopped for a traffic infraction, nothing is ever done to them.

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 6:50 AM

So true!

-- Posted by ruserious25 on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:23 AM

I beieve this is a great system! It should be a great tool to help take down a wanted criminal,such as drug runners,robbers and worst.Thats what our major investment in an officer should be doing instead of wasteing time and resorces on writing a $25.00 ticket to people who choose not to wear their seatbelts.Thats a great "probable cause" tool but not a great return financially. Go get them troops!

-- Posted by Ya THUNK on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 8:32 AM

Ok that is neat and all but what happens to a person who is driving their spouses insured and properly licensed car, if they in fact are not the driver. Seems like a great idea if they could also tell who is driving the car. So in short if I am driving my wifes car and she has had her license revoked, I will get pulled over and harrassed by a copy.. Seems like another excuse to invade peoples privacy. Just being the devils advicate here. What if this same person had illegal stuff in the car, then the cop gets to arrest a person do to the cops mistake..I just used that as a point but there could be alot of other reasons the cop could arrest a person not doing anything but driving..Albeit getting a criminal off the street is great but I think it would be beaten in court do to the cops mistake of pulling over the car..

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 9:14 AM

Why not open a Tip Line for People in our area Owen -Putnam County to give information in helping

get these People out from behind the wheel...

-- Posted by takeastand on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 10:55 AM

So the unlicensed drivers will just register the car in someone else's name.

-- Posted by Clovertucky on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 9:08 PM

Uh-oh think-tank...

Better put on the aluminum foil helmet. Are those black helicopters overhead???

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 11:13 PM

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