FAQ :: What are Caltrans, freeways cameras, ANPR and LPR used for?

Caltrans is a system of cameras, over a thousand cameras monitoring freeway sections across California. Anyone can select the section of California they are interested in and view the live streaming videos of traffic available for that region. [1]Closed-Circuit Television Cameras are being installed on many freeways in urban areas. The pictures are beamed into Transportation Management Centers across the state, where the images are used to verify reported incidents and to dispatch the appropriate response. We are making some of these pictures available on this web page so commuters can make informed decisions as to when to take a trip on the freeway.

Caltrans claim they do not save the videos to use for other purposes and are used strictly for traffic management use only, not for law enforcement. [2]

Each state will eventually have thousands of traffic monitoring cameras on its freeways, highways and city streets. Those millions of cameras will be connected to Automatic Number Plate Recognition software allowing Big Brother to put a single license plate number into the system and if that car is on the road anywhere in America he will quickly know where it is. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) or license plate recognition (LPR) is being used by police departments around the world. As of 2006, the technology allows police to automatically scan license plates at one per second on cars traveling up to 100 mph. Police can use them in the patrol cars and in permanent locations. ANPR is also used for electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and the monitoring of traffic.

Ashley Wilson was stunned when she got four tickets in the mail totaling $700. A hidden camera had captured her infractions on video. “I was totally shocked,” she said. The stop sign camera is one of seven scattered in parks along the Santa Monica Mountains that have surprised Southern California road warriors used to seeing red-light cameras and speed traps on their daily drives.

During an 18-month period ending May 31, 2010, nearly 35,000 citations have been issued and the parks have collected nearly $2 million. But the nation’s first stop sign cameras, introduced in 2007, have angered critics who think they’re another aggressive government tactic to squeeze money out of motorists.

The cameras operated by Redflex Traffic Systems are activated when a road sensor detects a vehicle moving faster than 7 mph through intersection. They snap a photo of the rear license plate of cars that do not stop and an administrative ticket is issued to registered car owner. [3]

Eventually traffic monitoring cameras around the world will be connected giving Big Brother the ability to pick out any car on the road 24-7.


[1] http://video.dot.ca.gov.

[2] http://video.dot.ca.gov/faq.htm.

[3] Nguyen, Daisey. “Stop-sign cameras catch Calif. drivers off guard.” Washington Post. 10.03.2010. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 201 0/10/02/AR20101 00201662.html.