A brand new type of vehicle tracking system was launched this month by the Indiana State Police (ISP) to help officers identify and locate drivers with invalid or suspended licenses. ISP said of the more than 4 million licensed drivers in Indiana, there are more than 222,000 suspended drivers and over 30,000 other drivers who have had their license to drive revoked for five to ten years or even for the rest of their life.
The vehicle tracking system is called a License Plate Reader. Indiana police began testing the tracking system in June 2011. The system needed a few tweaks during test mode, but Indiana police say the system can successfully read Indiana license plates.
Police hope by using the License Plate tracking system, more unlicensed drivers will be taken off the roadways. According to ISP, unlicensed drivers put responsible drivers at risk, and are typically only discovered after committing a traffic violation or crashing their vehicle. Police hope the vehicle tracking system can help to to identify unlicensed drivers before an accident happens.
The vehicle tracking system works by constantly scanning license plates, 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. The system can read license plates from every state.
ISP said by the end of 2011, LPRs will be connected with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle database. Doing so will allow police to identify the owners of the vehicles who have a suspended license or a habitual traffic violator. Police said the tracking system will also be capable of identifying vehicles with expired license plates over 30 days, but less than a year from expiration.
ISP’s goal is to help prevent accidents similar to the one that killed a construction worker in early October. Police said Spencer Woods, 29, sped through a construction zone around, hitting a construction flagger who was directing traffic away from crews building a barrier on Interstate 465. Woods’ license was suspended at the time of the crash. He also had an eight-page driving record that showed several citations for driving without a license and without insurance.