There is a new effort to collect personal property (vehicle) and real estate taxes in Fredericksburg, VA. Police are using license plate scanning technology to spot residents with unpaid fees and fines, and boot their cars until the fees are settled.
The automatic license plate scanner system that is at the heart of the smartboot technology scans the plates of the cars as the police vehicle passes by them. The plate numbers are matched with a database of known citizens with outstanding payments due, whether for taxes or outstanding parking tickets. If a match is found, the officer is instantly alerted inside the vehicle, he stops, and places one of these boots on your car to immobilize it until you pay the fees owed.
According to the article the city of Fredericksburg has already paid for the system in increased fees collected.
License plate scanning technology is more commonly used by police departments to locate cars that have been reported stolen, as well as drivers who may have suspended driver’s licenses, or outstanding criminal court warrants. Government and law enforcement authorities are easily able to identify cars or drivers with legal issues via database matches, they can flag the vehicle in these systems to be notified if it is scanned and located.
Similar systems are in use in Richmond and are becoming increasingly common across Virginia.
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