Police Already Get Your Information Through Plate Readers

Concerns about info grabs when cashless tolling begins

Tom Puckett
August 24, 2017 - 4:00 am

AP/Star-Tribune, Jim Gehrz

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As cashless tolling will come to Grand Island last year, some are concerned information will be collected from drivers. The pertinent information is already collected by some police agencies. 

Cheektowaga and North Tonawanda Police have both used license plate readers for years. "The reader consists of two cameras mounted on a police car and beamed in a way to scan a license plate as a patrol car goes by," says North Tonawanda Police Chief Roger Zgolak. "When that scanner reads the plate, it gives officers information on whether it's stolen, suspended or any other information about the driver like being wanted or any other red flag." Zgolak says it's been helpful in making arrests.

Cheektowaga Assistant Police Chief Jim Speyer says license plate readers have been used for more than a decade. "We have them out on the streets and if it hits on a stolen car, police will do what it can to stop that vehicle," explains Speyer. "As police drive through a parking lot, it will hit every single plate and in seconds, identify whether it's a valid plate."

 

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