Niagara Gazette

Columns

August 1, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: From the America's Car Show newsroom

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The study, notes that records of every car with a license plate are sometimes kept indefinitely, although many municipalities and police departments purge their records more often in order to save digital storage space.

While some police departments use their scanners to constantly monitor license plates, others only look to use their databases as a “reactive investigative tool” if they’re seeking out a vehicle related to a crime. 

States that use the scanners to more proactively monitor vehicles typically find that the bulk of suspicious plates are due to minor offenses like suspended registrations or failed emissions inspections. In Maryland, 97 percent of the roughly 60,000 suspicious plates it found while reading 29 million plates between January and May of 2012 fell under one of those two categories.

On the other hand, scanners mounted to police cars have helped law enforcement officers successfully track down criminals and stolen cars. A typical eight-hour shift could net 7,000 license plate images automatically, according to Maryland state police officials.

  

Chrysler recalls

There are a few Chrysler recalls to tell you about. The first recall will rectify problems related to active head restraints designed to reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear impact situation. A faulty micro-controller could prevent the active head restraints from moving in a wreck.

Chrysler will replace the micro-controllers on the following affected vehicles:

• 2011-2013 Chrysler 200

• 2011-2013 Dodge Avenger

• 2011-2012 Dodge Nitro

• 2011-2012 Jeep Liberty 

Next, the automaker plans to call back about 69,000 Ram 1500 4x4 pickups for a stability control system software update. Some dealers have reported a warning lamp illumination on certain four-wheel-drive Rams when the transfer case position is changed immediately before the vehicle is turned off. The new software will alter the stability control so that it won’t deactivate when the vehicles are turned off.

The recall covers the following trucks:

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