license plate reader
General Business

$10M for Enhanced License Plate Readers at Staten Island / NJ Bridge Crossings

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced a $10 million program to install enhanced license plate readers at its three Staten Island crossings, including the Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing, where data from vehicular tracking technology associated with stolen vehicles or vehicles linked in other ways to criminal activity will be shared with regional law enforcement agencies for investigations and prosecutions. Data collected by such technology has assisted with the agency’s enforcement of toll evasion. According to Staten Island prosecutors, these data have also helped lead to a decrease of nearly 30 percent in auto thefts so far this year in cases before the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office.

License plate readers incorporated into the region’s transportation infrastructure are essential to safety and security by collecting digitally readable images of vehicle license plates that are used to locate stolen vehicles or vehicles used in other criminal activity, or identify vehicles involved with missing persons such as children and the elderly. This technology will strengthen efforts by the Port Authority to identify and prosecute drivers who repeatedly evade tolls.

The investment will bring the total number of readers at the agency’s Staten Island crossings to 40, including 24 new readers at the Bayonne Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing. The agency expects installation of the readers at the agency’s remaining two Staten Island crossings by the end of 2026. The Port Authority and the New York Police Department (NYPD) previously collaborated on the installation of license plate readers at the George Washington Bridge and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.

Permanent license plate readers at the agency’s crossings significantly enhance the Port Authority Police Department’s (PAPD) ability to collaborate with various law enforcement agencies, including the NYPD and New Jersey law enforcement, and share intelligence and coordinate responses to criminal activities. This cross-agency collaboration ensures unified approaches to law enforcement, public safety, toll evasion and security patrols. While PAPD has already deployed mobile readers at the Bayonne Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing, permanent readers use higher resolution cameras that are installed at locations optimal for more precise collection of data, which can be shared in real time with law enforcement partners.

“We have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in law enforcement secure and patrol the communities where our facilities are hosted and where our crossings connect with the various links of the regional transportation network,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “This crime-fighting technology has proven itself to be invaluable across myriad types of investigations, and we are proud to assist wherever we can to keep our facilities and our neighbors safe.”

“The Port Authority is committed to providing useful information to assist our law enforcement partners,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “These license plate readers provide critically valuable assistance to locate stolen vehicles and vehicles otherwise linked to criminal activity.”

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