In NJ new technology can help find wanted individuals by automatically scanning license plates and instantly looking up records. This technology is already available in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to enforce parking violations.
License Plates are run through driving record and criminal databases and patrol cars equipped with the license plate readers give police officers instant information if a car is stolen, if the vehicle owner is wanted in connection to a serious crime, or even if the registration is expired or driver’s license is suspended.
I am constantly told stories about how someone was harassed by police who constantly stop a driver because they “know” their license is suspended, and they write out a new set of tickets that usually includes another driving under suspension that will cause another year or more of license suspension if found guilty. This new technology will only amplify the problem as officers will now have another way to check a record of a vehicle owner before they make a stop.
The biggest flaw to this system is that the electronic reader will only be able to see the information for the registered owner of the vehicle, and it will not reflect the record of the driver. Because you can register and own a vehicle with a suspended license, you could be at risk of being stopped if you borrow a car from someone who has a bad record or who may be wanted.