4/19/2005New Jersey Turns Over Data on Turnpike Drivers
New Jersey makes it easier to track motorists on the Turnpike.
A law that went into effect this month allows police to access video of drivers and E-Z Pass data collected on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway without a court order. Under the previous, stricter rules last year, police accessed this information 65 times. The information handed over is not necessarily the identity of a single car, but can include every vehicle that drove through in a specific period.
In December, for example, Sayreville police accessed E-Z Pass records of every vehicle that went through the Parkway toll plaza. Police matched witness accounts with the Parkway records and found and approached a suspect -- except he was innocent. His car had no damage.
A set of 146 cameras also watch the toll workers to ensure they do not pocket money that belongs to the state. They haven't caught a thief yet.
"We find the new rules regarding access to E-ZPass information to be acceptable," [Michael Lapolla, executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority] said. "They are designed to assist law enforcement, when necessary, and continue to protect the privacy and interests of motorists who use the system."Source: Far-seeing road 'eyes' raise fears on privacy (New Jersey Star-Ledger, 4/18/2005)
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