New York High Court Rejects License Plate Reader Stop

The highest court in New York state earlier this month rejected a traffic stop based on a false-positive alert from the database used by automated license plate readers (ALPR, also known as ANPR in Europe). The Court of Appeals considered a case where a state trooper stopped a car being driven by legally and safely because the police computer falsely reported it as an “impounded vehicle.”

The trooper who performed the stop on November 8, 2014, noted that “everything looked good” when he saw Robert Hinshaw driving a properly registered car on the streets of Buffalo. A scan of the car’s front license plate produced a report that alarmed the officer.

“The following has been reported as an impounded vehicle,” the computer screen read. “It should not be treated as a stolen vehicle hit — no further action should be taken based solely upon this impounded response.”