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Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers

The tiny Michigan town of Ypsilanti wants to blanket the area with 60 or more Flock ALPR license plate reader cameras, placed at every entrance and exit point of their roads.


(Flock ALPR license plate reader camera is fixed to a pole)

That includes solar-powered cameras that would surround Ypsilanti city limits, according to the map, capturing vehicle license plates, vehicle make and color and any decals or stickers on the rear.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton discussed the technology at an April community education session, saying the readers could be useful in law enforcement investigations but only if proper safeguards are put in place.

“I believe that if this is not used in a proper way, there can be harm. But there is evidence it can be used to assist in investigations. I don’t want a Big Brother state,” the sheriff said during the presentation.

Yes, let's not have a Big Brother state. However, this possible future was well covered by Robert Heinlein in his 1940 classic Methuselah's Children. Of course, he also figured out the counter to this technology:

The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control. Before doing so she fumbled in the storage compartment on the instrument board and fumbled, apparently purposelessly.

But the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway was not the number in which the car was registered.
(Read more about the Camden speedster car)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/1/2022)

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Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

 

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