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License plates readers have proliferated. A friend in NJ told me she passed a cop going in the opposite direction and he turned around and pulled her over. His license plate reader told him that her registration had expired 3 days earlier. An innocent mistake on her part but one that cost her several hundred dollars in fines and court costs.

Probably 10 years ago or so where I lived in MA there was an interstate exchange with a large busy rotary. The State comes by and cuts all the trees down on the inside of the rotary and puts up these cameras on poles. There was some public outcry over the cutting of the trees and the State’s response was that they needed to cameras to monitor traffic. This was in an area that passed for rural in MA where there were never traffic jams except for the rare accident or construction project. Clearly traffic had nothing to do with it. They were capturing license plates passing above on the interstate and below on the rotary.

I have since noticed those same cameras in the sky here in rural VT on what passes for major roadways. If you don’t look closely you might think it is just a street light and not even notice that it doesn’t come on at night. They say they are monitoring winter road conditions, but you know it is really capturing license plates year round.