Expect to See More Eyes on the Road and Fewer Suspended Drivers Says
ORILLIA, ON, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Driving with a suspended licence is
about to get much riskier for drivers as the Ontario Provincial Police
(OPP) become the first police service in Ontario and one of the first
in Canada to target suspended drivers with their Licence Plate
Recognition Program (ALPR).
The OPP is also expanding its ALPR program to include an additional 27
ALPR equipped vehicles to its existing fleet of four which, according
to the OPP, will make it more difficult for suspended drivers, drivers
of stolen vehicles and other vehicles with plates in poor standing to
drive undetected on Ontario roads and highways.
"Thanks to our continued partnership with the Ministry of Transportation
Ontario (MTO) and the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner
(IPC), our roads will be much safer now that we have the resources to
remove the threat that suspended drivers pose to all road users. The
additional 27 vehicles will allow us to scan thousands more plates
every day over a broader geographic range in the province." - OPP
Deputy Commissioner Bill Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety
and Operational Support.
"Our partnerships with the OPP and all our road safety partners have
allowed us to lead the way with some of the most advanced road safety
programs, tough laws and strong enforcement. This is why Ontario is a
North American leader in road safety." The Honourable Glen Murray,
Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure.
"Ontario motorists expect to be protected from unsafe drivers, but also
not to be tracked as they go about their daily lives. We are pleased to
report that the OPP used a Privacy by Design approach in developing its Automatic License Plate Recognition system,
and that when a scanned license plate does not match the list of unsafe
drivers, it will be deleted from the system within minutes." - Ann
Cavoukian, Ph.D. Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada.
Approximately 250,000 Highway Traffic Act licence suspensions are issued
annually in Ontario.
OPP ALPR vehicles now have access to an MTO database that contains all
Ontario licence plates of vehicles whose registered owners' driver's
licences are suspended.
Click on the following video to watch an OPP ALPR equipped vehicle
detect and pursue a suspended driver: http://www.opp.ca/media/alpr/alpr-newsstory.wmv
Through its continued partnership with the Ministry of Transportation
(MTO, OPP Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) equipped
vehicles now have access to an MTO database that contains all Ontario
licence plates of vehicles whose registered owners' driver's licences
Approximately 250,000 licence suspensions are issued annually in Ontario
for Highway Traffic Act (HTA) and Criminal Code infractions.
Suspended drivers pose a threat to public safety with an estimated 2.3
per cent of fatal motor vehicle collisions being attributable to
motorists who drive while their licences are under suspension.
When ALPR cameras produce a "hit" on a suspended driver and the driver
is found to have a suspended licence for a Criminal Code conviction,
officers will immediately have the vehicle towed to an impound
facility for a minimum of 45 days. If the suspension is for an HTA
offence, the vehicle immediately gets towed to an impound facility for
With the OPP's expansion of its ALPR program, they are now able to
plates on vehicles that are registered to suspended drivers
plates associated with stolen vehicles
plates reported stolen or missing
plates with expired validation tags
plates that have been suspended
unissued plates reported stolen
missing stock or spoiled plates never issued
Currently, the OPP receives from MTO and Canadian Police Information
Centre a data file that contains approximately six million licence
plates in poor standing over a four-year historical period; with the
new file of suspended drivers, it is anticipated that an additional two
million plates will be added to the ALPR database
The OPP only retains ALPR records for scanned plates that match the hot
list and these are stored for evidentiary purposes. Data for plates
that do not generate a hit are automatically deleted from the ALPR
vehicle system daily and the OPP ALPR server every 10 minutes.
NEW OPP ALPR VEHICLES
As part of the OPP's ALPR Program expansion, the OPP is adding 27 ALPR
equipped vehicles to its existing fleet of four.
The 27 additional ALPR equipped vehicles will enable the OPP to detect
thousands more licence plates in poor standing every day over a broader
geographic range in Ontario.
Eight of the 27 new ALPR equipped vehicles are being deployed in the
Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the remaining vehicles will be
distributed provincially, moving between detachment areas as needed.
The new ALPR vehicles will be deployed beginning in December, 2013 with
completion in January, 2014.
AUTOMATIC LICENCE PLATE RECOGNITION
Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) was first developed by the
United Kingdom and was introduced in Ontario for use by the 407 Toll
Highway and Canadian Border Security Services.
The benefits of ALPR technology to policing and road safety have been
measured around the world and include enhanced officer safety,
increased arrests of criminals and removal of high risk vehicles (i.e.
stolen) from highways, thereby enhancing public safety.
The basis of this technology is the use of a camera mounted in the front
and/or rear of a police vehicle. The camera has outstanding image
capture capability and can scan opposing or approaching vehicle licence
plates, capturing the plate's image then recognizing and automatically
querying the plate against a "hotlist" that consists of an in-car
computer and database.
A hotlist is a list of licence plates in poor standing that is
downloaded daily into the police vehicle's on-board computer and when a
plate is scanned, it is checked against the hotlist.
The ALPR camera uses an Infra-Red illuminator which can remove variables
that could interfere with a clear image capture such as headlight
glare, sunlight, darkness and even adverse weather conditions.
The system operates in silent mode. When a scan identifies a hit, the
system gives an audible signal to the officer and displays the plate
and the vehicle image on the computer screen. The officer can quickly
identify the vehicle and take appropriate action.
The number of plates ALPR can scan per hour depends on factors such as
traffic volumes, however, in a high volume traffic situation the ALPR
system is capable of scanning approximately 3,600 plates per hour.
SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police