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[uk.transport] Speed Camera with OCR

I thought this might be of interest to fellow cypherpunks, especially
to those of us in the UK.

Has anything like this been done in the US or Canada?


------- Start of forwarded message -------
Newsgroups: uk.transport
From: [email protected] (Marcus Reynolds)
Subject: Speed Camera with OCR
Reply-To: [email protected]
Distribution: world
X-Mailer: cppnews $Revision: 1.20 $
Organization: Sound & Vision BBS +44 (0)932 252323
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1993 20:34:43 +0000

I have just seen an item on the the BBC South East News about a new
speed trap in Kent. Apparently the radar clocks your speed, a TV camera
records your number plate & then a real time OCR system picks out the
actual number & flashes it up on a digital display a short distance
further up the road. The idea is to embarrass drivers by letting them
& others see their speed & registration. I don't know what type of
equipment they are using, but it sounds like a really neat trick.
The ability to read a car's plate & decypher the number in real time
without any human intervention must take a bit of work. Has anybody
heard how reliable this system really is ?

I can see a few more uses for such a system than merely embarrassing
speeding motorists, if it can work reliably & cheaply. How's this for

City centre entry control & road pricing without the fancy toll booths,
just an itemised bill at the end of the month.
Tracking stolen vehicles, check every plate against the DVLC wanted list.
Tracking any vehicle the State wants to track. Hello Big Brother.
Marcus Reynolds                 (Bandwidth saving sig)

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