Update: see previous posts – November 23, 2012 Automatic Licence Plate Readers (ALPR): Cornwall, Ontario Police Will Soon Have in 3 Cruisers, March 18, 2009 Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) in British Columbia, March 15, 2009 Lights, Cameras, Roll’em (April 2009 – Toronto)
TORONTO – The Ontario Provincial Police will be equipping its cruisers with a new high-tech tool to help them catch suspended drivers on roads and highways.
The OPP announced on Wednesday it will install Automatic License Plate Recognition scanners in 27 of its vehicles, in addition to the existing fleet of four which are already in operation.
Police say system will make it more difficult for suspended drivers, drivers of stolen vehicles and other vehicles with plates in poor standing to drive undetected.
“The additional 27 vehicles will allow us to scan thousands more plates every day over a broader geographic range in the province,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Bill Blair.
The OPP will be using the Ministry of Transportation databases to scan driver information.
Officials say only those scanned plates that match the “hot list” will be stored for “evidentiary purposes.”
Police say data collected from plates that don’t generate a hit are automatically deleted from the onboard computer system every 10 minutes.
The system is capable of scanning approximately 3,600 plates per hour.
“Ontario motorists expect to be protected from unsafe drivers, but also not to be tracked as they go about their daily lives,” said Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian. “We are pleased to report that the OPP used a Privacy by Design approach in developing its Automatic License Plate Recognition system.”
Police say an estimated 2.3 per cent of fatal motor vehicle collisions are attributed to motorists who drive while their licences are under suspension.
Approximately 250,000 Highway Traffic Act license suspensions are issued a year in Ontario.