4 bridges in Philadelphia area to have license plate scanner

Thursday, February 29, 2024
4 bridges in Philadelphia area to have license plate scanner
4 bridges in Philadelphia area to have license plate scanner

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Four major bridges carrying commuters across the Delaware River will soon have license plate readers scanning all vehicles in both directions, according to the Delaware River Port Authority.

The automated license plate readers will be installed on the Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman and Commodore Barry bridges.

The aim, according to the Delaware River Port Authority, is to help fight and prevent crime.

"Most importantly I think it's a Homeland Security aspect that takes precedence along with missing persons; whether it's Amber Alert, Silver Alerts, etc.," said Robert Finnegan, DRPA Chief Safety & Security Officer.

Finnegan stressed these readers will be used to target suspect vehicles in major crimes, not misdemeanors or citations.

We spoke to drivers who use those bridges all the time.

Kharee Staten is a ride-share driver, and drives back and forth between Philadelphia and New Jersey all the time.

"Absolutely it's something I'll be subject to," said Staten of West Oak Lane. "So hopefully it's for the best and it works out helping to protect and make things safer."

Some were all for it.

"I think it's great. They can catch criminals, those who are trying to evade warrants," said Cynthia Ruiz of Camden.

But others feel it's an invasion of privacy.

"I don't think there a need for it. I think there's enough cameras at the toll booths to do the job that's needed," said Tariq Alexander of Pennsauken.

According to the DRPA, New Jersey State Police will operate the camera system and will store the scanned data.

But officials say for drivers, not much will change.

"Your data is collected everywhere on cameras all over," said Finnegan. "I don't see this as a bigger or another step up in personal intrusion."

The DRPA says the scanners will be funded out of the New Jersey State Police budget.

No date has been set yet for a launch.

They're aiming to have the cameras up and running by late spring or early summer.