Should you read front or rear license plates?
In answer to the question should you read front or rear license plates, we recommend where possible capturing front plates as this will produce better recognition rates:
- Rear plates are often very dirty in inclement weather as dirty surface water can be deposited on the rear of a vehicle as a result of the air vortex created as the car moves forward. This dries and builds up over time making the plates less reflective and ultimately not possible to read even with our eyes. Front plates are often spray-cleaned by oncoming rain.
- The rear of a vehicle can be littered with signage such as the make and model, “Long Vehicle”, “Tom’s Trucking” and even multiple plates etc.
- At a barrier situation – camera positioning to read rear plates is challenging with vehicles of varying lengths. This is also an important practicality for database matching resulting in, for example, a stop vehicle alert at a security checkpoint. Where the vehicles have no front plates we have to do the best we can with rear plate capture.
- Traffic calming techniques (speed bumps) can often space out tail-gating traffic more easily for front reads when there is no barrier.