Licence plate scanners resulting in charges

Roads will be safer now that cruisers equipped with automated licence plate recognition are reining in naughty drivers, say provincial police.

“They’re working very, very well,” said OPP Sgt. Peter Leon.

“When you’re able to check licence plates for suspended drivers and do what they’re able to do in a very short period of time — which, in the old days, would’ve virtually meant stopping every vehicle and doing it — it’s a very efficient tool, most definitely.”

More than 10 charges were laid under the Highway Traffic Act against drivers in the Central Hastings area, near Tweed, over the weekend.

Offenders were flagged for offences such as driving under suspension, without a licence, or with expired validation stickers.

Since January, 31 cruisers have been on the road, mostly in the Greater Toronto Area on the 400 series highways, said Leon.

Front-line cops can access the transportation ministry and CPIC databases in tandem with the plate recognition.

“I think that they’re really appreciative of this type of technology,” said Leon.

“It’s cutting-edge … very much something that is being embraced by the officers out there, and they’re excited when these vehicles do come to the detachment because they know what the reputation is all about.”

Leon said he personally heard from few officers who have received training then used the system.

“It’s just incredible what they’re able to bring back in, as far as, you know, making a contribution to road safety.”

Ottawa Police, meanwhile, have no immediate plans to add the plate recognition to their fleet, mainly due to cost, said Sgt. Mark Gatien.

Provincial cops forked over roughly $500,000 for the technology.

Twitter: @kellyroche6

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