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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some more news on IR LED photo blocking

Saw an article in the Washington Post today that DC is using 38+ cameras around the region to read license plates.  They are building a database to be able to track the movements of cars around the region.  While this is great for catching stolen cars, it apparently caught a cheating wife who the husband had reported missing.

This seemed like a perfect application for my IR LED speed camera blocker frame, because the article says that this technology uses and IR camera to read the plate.

I looked a little more and found a wikipedia on the subject no less.  I guess my idea is pretty common at this point :-(.    Plus it  looks like Texas even has a law against this sort of thing.  Be careful out there.

This is from Wikipedia

Circumvention techniquesVehicle owners have used a variety of techniques in an attempt to evade ANPR systems and road-rule enforcement cameras in general. One method increases the reflective properties of the lettering and makes it more likely that the system will be unable to locate the plate or produce a high enough level of contrast to be able to read it. This is typically done by using a plate cover or a spray, though claims regarding the effectiveness of the latter are disputed. In most jurisdictions, the covers are illegal and covered under existing laws, while in most countries there is no law to disallow the use of the sprays.[14] Other users have attempted to smear their license plate with dirt or utilize covers to mask the plate.
Novelty frames around Texas license plates were made illegal in Texas on 1 September 2003 by Texas Senate Bill 439 because they caused problems with ANPR devices. That law made it a Class C misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of up to US $200), or Class B (punishable by a fine of up to US $2,000 and 180 days in jail) if it can be proven that the owner did it to deliberately obscure their plates.[15] The law was later clarified in 2007 to allow Novelty frames.
If an ANPR system cannot read the plate it can flag the image for attention, with the human operators looking to see if they are able to identify the alphanumerics.
In order to avoid surveillance or penalty charges, there has been an upsurge in car cloning. This is usually achieved by copying registration plates from another car of a similar model and age. This can be difficult to detect, especially as cloners may change the registration plates and travel behavior to hinder investigations.
Other possible options include IR emitting LEDs around the license plate which would serve to "blind" cameras.


  1. Have you considered overexposing the plate using and IR laser directed across it?