Sept. 10, 2004 – New Haven, Connecticut is implementing a new scanner technique to catch tax cheaters. An infrared scanner will read a license plate and match it to a database that will reveal if the car is stolen, is not registered or insured, has a stolen license plate, or if property taxes are owed on the car. The city plans to begin using the technology on Friday. The cars that are determined to be delinquent will be towed until the owner settles up with taxes or properly registers and insures the car.
New Haven Police Chief Francisco Ortiz told the Associated Press, "We are trying to create an atmosphere where people are very responsible with their vehicles."
Critics say the technology could be used for racial profiling or abused in other ways. Teresa Younger, executive director for the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union told the Associated Press that the technology makes her uncomfortable. "We will be monitoring it and watching it to see how it's being used," she said.