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(Automatic License Plate Recognition) Also called "automatic number plate recognition" (ANPR), it is a law enforcement system that optically scans vehicle license plates. Using fixed-position cameras on highways or mobile cameras in patrol cars, the system identifies the plate and matches it against a database of stolen and uninsured vehicles, as well as vehicles registered to drivers with suspended licenses. Equipped with an ALPR, a police official can drive through a parking lot and process the plate number of every parked car. Some systems even photograph the driver.

From Fixed to Mobile
Developed in Europe in the late 1970s, the first systems used fixed cameras at highway intersections. Subsequent systems migrated to mobile use with faster cameras and better recognition algorithms. In addition, laptop computers became more powerful over the years, enabling more economical and effective mobile use.

Toll Collection and Speeding
ALPR is also used with toll collection systems such as E-ZPass to identify vehicles that go through a toll booth without paying and without an RFID tag. It is also used in combination with highway speed detection systems to identify violators and send them speeding tickets.

People Are Always Creative
Drivers have tried to circumvent these systems by obscuring theletters and digits in some manner or by making their plates more reflective with a plastic cover or spray. However, some countries that have used ALPRs have made modifications to the fonts on the next version of their plates to make them easier to identify at high speeds.
References in periodicals archive ?
The need for ANPR system in security & surveillance and traffic control, and infrastructure growth in the emerging economies are some of the significant growth drivers for the ANPR system market.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, who is also the national lead for ANPR for the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), said: "This is the first phase of our programme to expand ANPR capability across North Yorkshire.
ON WATCH: Chief Superintendent Mark Harrison manning one of the ANPR units looking over the M62 Pictures: JAMES MALONEY
ANPR CAMERA LOCATIONS M8: 16 ANPR cameras at five locations: Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh; Uphall Station; East Whitburn; Bogfoot Bridge near Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire; and Baillieston Interchange, Glasgow M77: Six ANPR cameras at three locations: Maidenhill; Kingswell; and Meiklewood A726: Four ANPR cameras at two locations: Maiden-hill; and Philipshill, East Kilbride
Explaining how the ANPR system works Prastitis said: "There will be two cameras in the vehicle, an ANPR in the back, with a Pan & Tilt motor, so you can adjust it by remote control to capture images; and one high resolution CCD camera in the front, to recording anything that is happening in front of the police vehicle.
On July 22, Boxer held a hearing with former EPA associate deputy administrator Jason Burnett as its principle witness, in which she sought more background information regarding reports that the Bush administration had planned to issue an "endangerment finding," but retracted it in favor of an ANPR.
Most ANPR systems are based on template matching which cannot under field
The trust said a driver who bought a Northern Ireland number plate and customised the spacing so that it spelled his name was recently pulled over in North Wales by an ANPR police team who initially refused to accept that it was a genuine registration.
In December 2004 the Board published an initial ANPR to commence a comprehensive review of the open-end credit rules and to solicit comment on a variety of issues relating to the format of open-end credit disclosures, the content of disclosures, and the substantive protections provided under the regulation.
The ANPR will include all bedclothes, from sheets to pillows and comforters, and is not a proposed standard but the first step in rule-making.
Mr Blunkett announced pounds 15 million funding for ANPR and a data centre for sharing information on organised crime and terror.
According to the ANPR, FDA is currently considering three alternatives: