Vehicle surveillance company's "free" deal turns Texas cops into bill-collectors


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/01/27/vehicle-surveillance-company.html


#2

I don’t want to be paranoid enough that I feel like installing a nifty little IR LED above my plate is a normal and necessary thing to do but Bob damn it America…


#3

Quick, someone post a LSC w/ applicable graphic.

@TobinL if you’re not paranoid enough by now, you’re not paying attention.


#4

We have ANPR (Automatic Numberplate Recognition) in the UK, but it’s paid for by the government, like things like this should be.

ANPR is how the Hatton Garden burglars were caught. One of the gang drove his van into London and parked it in the street. Judging by the Police, Crash, Action TV programmes, a sound is emitted in a Police car if a car with marker is passed by. It seems to work in catching cars that are untaxed or uninsured. There were some complaints about demonstrators having their cars being marked on the database, leading to them being pulled over for no real reason. I’m not sure if that’s been stopped.


#5

One of my maker neighbors made a license plate reader. His home is at the main entrance to the subdivision I live in and he logs every car in and out. Whenever there’s a problem (it’s usually things like package theft, property damage, and things stolen from cars), people ask him for his logs. It’s a pretty handy resource.

Vigilant might be able to get 25% now, but the technology is within reach of a lot of people. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some other company pop up and offer to do the same thing for a far smaller cut.


#6

I have a grandparent who did ‘troubleshooting’ work for DIA. I know what they could do with old school technology… I have been mildly paranoid for a long time.


#7

IIRC, it was set up under the auspices of the Association of Chief Police Officers, a private limited company (now defunct).


#8

Sounds like the smart thing to do is take the trip to jail and pay the fine from there so you can avoid the 25% markup on your fine.


#9

If you are getting picked up by one of these things, chances are you’ve made all kinds of bad decisions. I don’t know that there’s a smart thing to do at this point.

Before Vigilant showed up, the only option was for the car to be towed to an impound yard. The 25% fee is steep, but I’d rather pay that than deal with having to recover my car (for which there other expensive fees).


#10

They need to work on their branding. Neither ALPR nor LEARN-NVLS have quite the same ring as SCMODS.


#11

Maybe it depends on your fine and how you decide to pull over. 25% of a $50 fine, ok pay it if you want. 25% of a $5000 fine (not so uncommon in Dallas with our messed up toll fines) and those towing and impound fees might be less of a hit, assuming no one else is in the car and you decide to pull over on the road instead of in to a parking lot. More importantly for me, you won’t be sending money to Vigilant Solutions.


#12

I paid over $200 in court fees for a $25 cell phone use citation but this is a collections fee not a convenience fee.


#13

Well, at least they aren’t strip searching or water boarding them.

The government contends the defendants frequently stopped motorists
along U.S. 59, which runs through the county, and conducted illegal
strip searches on the roadway.
The most frequent targets were blacks, people who appeared to be
‘hippies’ or those whose cars bore the bumper sticker of a particular
Houston rock station. Motorists from the Shreveport, La., area also were
said to be targets.


#14

Yet another parasite attaches itself to the host organism - sigh


#15

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