Faking out traffic cameras: false negatives

| Comments (1) | Misc
A reader pointed me to this article about a driver who has ordered a license plate designed to use similar-looking letters to confuse traffic cameras. Se ewhat I mean?

I've actually heard about this plan before, though the version I heard was Bs and 8s and the idea was to rely on bad police handwriting. Anyway, I'm not sure how well this will actually work. It's true that the photo above looks like crap, but that's mostly an artifact of massive pixellation. Any reasonable camera should be able to get you a much higher resolution image. Even the not-great-looking picture here looks good enough to me to distinguish those three letters. If you also have the car model and can distinguish a few letters, I suspect you could figure out who the violator was.

UPDATE: Actually, it doesn't look like crap on my page, but it does on the original. Why? Whoever wrote the HTML decided to scale the 130x69 pic to 300 pixels wide and that didn't work out so well. If you scale to integral multiples, it's really quite readable.


A few mythbusters have shown license plate cameras with the dome off. The company used Nikon SLRs, which start at around 6mpx and go up year after year, have strong flashes, fast and very good autofocus, and are well positioned. I doubt the above 0DOO0DO would confuse a human being who is very familiar with license plate fonts and the common confusion between each letter.

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