Highways, interstates, and city roads are all meant to quickly move people from one place to another. However, many factors reduce the effectiveness of these roadways: toll collections and border crossings create traffic choke points; traffic lights and speed limits create regulations that require enforcement; and public wellbeing initiatives can limit the traffic density on these roads. Technologies like ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) can reduce these frictions for those managing and using the roads.
How ALPR Keeps Traffic Moving
Unregulated roads can be dangerous places, and speed limits or traffic lights aim to promote public safety. However, these regulations are only as good as their enforcement. ALPR acts as a force multiplier for local police, allowing automatic identification and ticketing of vehicles that run red lights or drive too fast. Moreover, by adding stolen vehicles to a database, ALPR can automate the search for these vehicles and reduce the nearly $5B in losses reported from motor vehicle theft in 2015. The FBI reported that in 2015 motor vehicle theft was the most expensive of all property crimes, costing approximately $7,000 per crime. The 707,758 recorded motor vehicle thefts caused more than $4.9 billion in losses. (Source)
Safety concerns for vehicles aren’t limited to accidents. Vehicle emissions are harmful to pedestrians, damaging lung growth in children and increasing the risk of heart and lung disease and asthma. (Source) In London, an Ultra-Low Emission Zone with daily charges for city driving has been established to fight air pollution. ALPR automates the identification process for vehicles that enter the zone, ensuring compliance with the new regulations.
Similarly, automated collection at toll booths using ALPR allows vehicles to maintain highway speeds through the tolling location and eliminates queuing, creating a more efficient experience for drivers and toll collectors alike.
Another major choke point for vehicle traffic is at border crossings. In the US, Customs and Border Protection have adopted ALPR technology to automate some steps in the border inspection process. This automation has reduced traveller waiting time by 20,000 hours a year without affecting the quality of the inspection process. (Source)
In cities with advanced traffic management systems, ALPR can enable additional functionality. Ambulances, police, diplomats, and other VIPs are often responding to time-sensitive situations. When these vehicles need to be somewhere quickly, ALPR communicating with the traffic light system can initiate green light cascades to keep them moving.
Wherever there’s a process for managing vehicle traffic, ALPR can be used to increase public safety and drive operational efficiency. To see how Pelco’s VideoXpert Plates ALPR software can deliver these benefits to your site, contact your local sales rep or download your free 30-day trial today.