traffic camera

DOT investigates license plate readers for traffic safety

The John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center is conducting market research associated with the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) as a potential countermeasure to improve traffic safety, according to a notice in FedBizOpps.

ALPRs automatically capture an image of a vehicle's license plate, transform that image into alphanumeric characters, compare the captured license plate number to databases of vehicles of interest (e.g., Hot Lists) and then alert the officer when a plate matching an agency's Hot List is observed.

The automated capture, analysis and comparison of vehicle license plates to a Hot List generally occur within seconds, the Volpe Center said.

While ALPRs are deployed for a variety of purposes – homeland security, locating and recovering stolen vehicles, etc. – the emphasis of this study will be on license offenses, including revoked, suspended or restricted licenses.

However, the study should also reveal whether ALPRs are being used for any other type of traffic safety function, such as speed enforcement.

The Volpe Center said it is looking for sources to conduct a literature review to better understand current knowledge and practices on the use of ALPR technology for traffic safety purposes. The notice also calls for obtaining clearances for the data collection effort from the Office of Management and Budget, selecting law enforcement case studies for deeper investigation and conducting qualitative interviews. The center will ultimately want an analysis of the collected data and a final report on the findings.

Interested parties must respond to the announcement in writing by Oct. 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time.

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