Police department in Berks County, PA testing license-plate readers

Though not a new technology — plate readers have been used on toll roads such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike for years — the costs and logistical concerns about data storage have kept plate readers from being deployed pervasively on police vehicles.

The Spring Township Police Department recently became the first municipal agency in Berks to buy and install plate readers. Other departments, including Cumru Township, are considering getting them.

The impetus for buying plate readers for $14,000 to $20,000 per vehicle was Pennsylvania lawmakers’ decision to phase out registration stickers by the end of 2016.