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View Diary: Traffic Cameras: Don't watch me, bro! (97 comments)

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  •  Yes it can. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, ladybug53, TexasTom, chantedor

    The traffic cameras are typically low-resolution, and designed for roadway condition monitoring (i.e. watching for congestion, accidents, or other roadway incidents), and simply can not do what you are suggesting.

    Here's a local (for me, at least) example:

    Go ahead. Try to figure out a way to pick out a license plate from that video. It's just not possible. Heck, getting anything other than  a vehicle type (car, truck, van, bus, heavy) and color would be a bit of a stretch.

    This does not, however, discount the possibility of police departments from ALSO setting up readers like you suggest (I suppose the enforcement cameras could be set up do do so, for example). They would, however, have to be a separate system. DoT budgets are thin enough, without dumping even more money into overdesigned cameras. We don't need the super-high res video, so we don't get systems that can provide it.

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:36:52 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well, if we know the specs of the cameras (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LibrErica, Simplify, jrooth

      on any given roadway, that would help us predict its probable uses.  

      But to most of us, they just look like an oversize webcam-on-a-stick.  As a non-expert, most of us can't tell if they are high-res or low-res just by looking.

      I was very surprised when our local ACLU got the police department to acknowledge their plate-reader program.  I had honestly assumed the cameras were for traffic automation or at most speeding enforcement.  The follow-up-for-potential-terrorism-investigation-six-months-later  angle was truly a shocker.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:44:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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