Vehicle plate scanners at Camana Bay tunnel

These vehicle scanners are in place at the entrance of the road tunnel at Camana Bay. - Photo: Andrel Harris

Scanners capable of reading data from vehicles have been installed at the Camana Bay tunnel on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

The scanners, fixed to the top of the tunnel in all three lanes, can read information from the electronic number plates now fitted to most Cayman vehicles.

Once the system is operational, the machines will scan the vehicle plates or tags and immediately determine if the car’s licence, registration and other details are up to date.

The information will be fed back to the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure and, ultimately, the police.

It is believed to be the first step towards automated ticketing for some motoring offences.
Charles Brown, a senior policy advisor in the ministry, confirmed that the new scanners at the tunnel were for the Electronic Vehicle Recognition system.

“They are not presently operational as the installations are ongoing. The public will be advised when they become operational,” he said.

The Department of Vehicle and Drivers Licensing has switched over thousands of the cars on Cayman’s roads to new electronic licence plates fitted with radio frequency identification tags.

Traffic police are getting RFID readers that will be able to scan the plates or tag and immediately tell them if the car’s licence, registration and other details are up to date.

In an earlier interview, Brown told the Cayman Compass the long-term goal was to integrate government’s computer systems to allow police to use the scanners to check for motoring offences linked to the vehicle or driver.

Eventually, he said, it could be used for automatic ticketing.

“The long-term game is to capture road offences, things like suspended drivers licences, disqualifications and insurances.

“The changes in the traffic law give us the opportunity to link with the court system when the court is ready,” he said.

At this stage though, the scanners will simply allow government to quickly determine if a car is licensed, registered and insured. The information will be made available to police.