Indiana State Police officers using new technology to catch those driving illegally

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By Eric Levy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 20, 2014) -- One in ten drivers are behind the wheel illegally.

That is the opinion of one Indiana State Police officer who is now using a kind of technology to get them off the road faster. The devices read license plate numbers and letters, and can tell when someone is driving a stolen car or maybe even wanted for murder.

There were no stolen cars or killers found while FOX59 was embedded with Indiana State Police, but a lot of people were found to be driving with a suspended license. It may not sound serious, but it is the strongest misdemeanor.

One man was stopped after it was found he put license plates from another car on the one he was driving, because he claimed they were stolen. He wasn't arrested because some of the paperwork matched up, but he was ticketed and eventually towed away. He wouldn't have been caught had it not been for the plate readers.

"It'll let the system know if the registered owner of the vehicle has a warrant for their arrest, if a habitual traffic violator, if their license is suspended prior," said Trooper Wally Butt with the Indiana State Police.

On the car, there are three of these devices that are constantly going.

"It'll read a vehicle passing my vehicle on both sides, and one going the opposite direction all simultaneously," said Trooper Butt. "It'll alert me whether or not there's something wrong with the license plate."

Should he come across someone wanted for a violent crime, having that early detection can give him time to call for back up.

"It's 90 percent accurate, when you get a reading, I still have to check it, just to double check and make sure that it is a right reading, but 90 percent of the time it's accurate," he said.

That means, no more blending in with the law abiding citizens.

"If you're driving on a suspended license, or your license is expired, or you have a stolen vehicle, or you have possible warrants, this system will find you and we will get you," said Trooper Butt.

Because it reads letters and numbers, the system can and will catch violators or criminals from other states who may be here in Central Indiana. Expect this technology to pop up on additional state police vehicles soon.