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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 ?
Some of the major companies dominating the ANPR systems market include 3M Company (U.
A man held in Walton who fled from police as he approached an ANPR site.
An introductory statement to the ANPR by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson argues that the Clean Air Act is not an appropriate legal framework under which to attempt such regulation.
ANPR is a technology which should be immediately suspended because it causes so much hardship and inconvenience to people who are falsely accused.
I rub my hands together in great glee and anticipation," giggled Arlington, Virginia, Treasurer Frank O'Leary in a television interview after that city acquired ANPR technology and passed an ordinance permitting police to confiscate the car of anyone owing $120 to the city for any reason--including overdue library books.
Number plates obscured by dirt or with incorrect letter and number spacing, that cannot be read by the ANPR camera, may be flagged up as suspect registrations and police sent in pursuit, the trust said.
Number plates obscured by dirt or with large spacing that cannot be read by the ANPR camera, may be flagged up as suspect registrations and cops sent in pursuit, the company said.
The second ANPR solicits public comments on ways the Board should implement amendments to TILA made by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (Bankruptcy Act).
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:
ANPR is able to automatically check a vehicle number plate against its own on-board database, national police and vehicle licensing databases.