LPR Folly? NOT!!!


LPR Folly? NOT!!!

I got this release from a reader who normally has good input. This time I think we need to give the LPR industry a bit of a benefit of the doubt.

The deal is that a woman was pulled over when a LPR reader gave the cops in San Francisco an alarm about a car they were following. They were told the car was stolen. They followed the car, even stopping at a red light behind the vehicle.  They pulled over the vehicle, handcuffed the driver. and only after half an hour realized that the car was not the one noted by the LPR system.  One number off.

She is suing and there you go.  This would be pretty damning except for one thing. The incident happened in 2009.   Five years ago. The story came up because the lawsuit is ongoing and in appeals.

I”m sure, like all technology, LPR marches on. Is it perfect?  Of course not. Should the cops have checked visually before slapping on the cuffs. Well,  Yeah.

But to damn the industry for something that happened five years ago is like blaming Microsoft because your copy of Windows Vista had a lot of bugs.

License Plate Recognition is as much of an art as it is a science. And we don’t know whether or not a 2014 system would have read the place properly. Which means, particularly if you are going to pull your gun based on the LPR reading, perhaps you should visually read the plate first.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. This is a case of poor decisions relative to police procedure more than a problem with LPR.

    The issues with VISTA is probably not the best example to use (Microsoft was to blame for that whole fiasco), but your point is well taken. I would challenge anybody to give an example of any new technology that always worked perfect.

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