Big Brother Gets a Pair of Super Eyes

Buried in a Gazette story about parking in Bethesda was a reference to a car-mounted surveillance system called Auto Vu. Driving down a street, Auto Vu can monitor and log in all the license plates it passes — up to one thousand plates per hour. In cities like DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Wilmington, DMV vehicles cruise the streets with Auto Vu, and the system sounds off an alarm when it recognizes a plate that has outstanding tickets or other violations, and boots the cars on the spot. Pretty efficient enforcement, since the system connects to the DMV database. We know where you are – you can’t hide from the parking cops anymore.

In Bethesda, it’s being used to ferret out those ruthless scofflaws who – needing more than two hours to run errands and maybe have a meal – deposit more money in a parking meter. That’s illegal, you know; small trucks with Auto Vu cruise down Bethesda streets, log in the license plates, and then come back two hours later to recognize license plates that have been in place more than two hours and smack the criminals with summonses.

Didn’t know that feeding the meter was illegal? That’s because it isn’t posted on the meter or on street signs. It’s not a speed trap, I guess it’s a parking trap – that brings in big bucks in fines. The county’s Chief of Parking Operations, Rick Siebert, is quoted by Bradford Pearson in the Gazette:

‘‘The difficulty is that most people don’t read signs,” said Siebert, who acknowledged that this law wasn’t posted on the meter or on street signs. ‘‘Even if we put it on the meters, people only read three or four lines of print before they stop.”

Right.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Civil Liberties, County government, Police State, Regulation, Transportation

2 Comments on “Big Brother Gets a Pair of Super Eyes”


  1. […] at Leviathan Montgomery says that Big Brother Gets a Pair of Super Eyes.  As seen in across the river in the commonwealth a few years ago, it’s best advised that […]


  2. Love this site. Expect more and more of this to come from Big Nanny MoCo.


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