Automatic number-plate recognition technology uses optical character recognition to read vehicles’ registration plates and store captured images of the vehicles. Some ANPR also allows photographs of the drivers to be stored. The tech can pinpoint vehicle locations as well. By using existing cameras, such as CCTV cameras alongside ones specifically designed for automatic number-plate recognition, ANPR tech plays various essential roles in modern road user safety.
Usage in Law Enforcement
Police forces around the world use ANPR technology for a multitude of law enforcement purposes, many of which contribute to road user safety. Each country uses ANPR in different ways, but most use it for checking if a vehicle is registered or licensed. Whether your vehicle has a standard registration plate, or whether you have purchased the type of personalized, cherished, or private number plate that you can find here, ANPR technology can read your plate, and law enforcement agencies can use those details in various ways:
· In the UK, a network of almost 8,000 cameras is used to track vehicle movements. The cameras record between 25 and 30 million ANPR records on a daily basis. The records are stored for up to two years, and they can be used for investigations by law enforcement agencies.
· In the US, automatic license plate recognition technology is employed by police forces for things like recovering stolen vehicles and identifying wanted felons. The private sector also uses the technology for vehicle recovery and repossession.
· In Australia, some Highway Patrol cars are fitted with infrared cameras to help identify unregistered vehicles and suspended or disqualified drivers.
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By doing things like removing unlicensed drivers from roads and recovering vehicles, ANPR technology is helping roads to become safer around the world.
Usage in Speed Limit Enforcement
Speeding endangers everyone on the road. In the US, 9,378 people were killed in 2018 due to speeding vehicles. And in the UK, around 24% of collisions from inappropriate speed result in death. With speeding being such a key contributor to dangerous roads for motorists and pedestrians alike, ANPR technology has been welcomed by many to help reduce the number of speeding vehicles on the road and the tragic deaths they cause. ANPR is currently only used in a few countries for speed limit enforcement. Notable countries that use the tech for that reason are Australia, the UK, France, South Africa, and Kuwait.
The technology works by tracking a vehicle’s travel time between two points and calculating the average speed. It is claimed that ANPR cameras have an advantage over traditional speed cameras for maintaining a steady legal speed over extended distances instead of encouraging heavy braking when approaching known camera locations and then returning to full speed.
In Italy, a monitoring system called Tutor is used. It covers over 1,500 miles and can even intercept vehicles while they change lanes. And in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Attorney General, locations with ANPR speed cameras have led the number of speed limit violations to become between 1% and 2%, compared to between 10% and 15% elsewhere in the country. By reducing speeding vehicles by that much, the number of accidents and deaths will also go down.
Usage in Traffic Control
Although CCTV cameras have long been used around the world to help control traffic better, APNR technology provides more precise management. The tech enables local traffic control bodies to analyze the speed and flow of vehicles on various routes and highlight any problems as they occur. Individual vehicles can, of course, also be monitored. By using APNR technology to improve traffic control, the roads will be a safer place.