This happens all the time and I would estimate that few drivers on Illinois roads even realize it. Did you know that Illinois State Police are automatically scanning license plates? They've just shared the reason why it's necessary.

The Illinois State Police shared a press release this past week which shared some interesting numbers. The topic is a controversial one. It's automatic license plate scans which happen right now in Illinois. Specifically, they revealed that 82% of interstate shootings were partially resolved with the assistance of the cameras which scan passing driver's plates. They said that 100% of fatal interstate shootings in Illinois helped identify an individual involved.

“The use of automated license plate readers has been a game changer in investigating interstate shootings, as well as vehicular hijackings and thefts,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “They provide us vital leads for our investigation, allowing us to track the events immediately leading up to and following the shootings to identify the vehicle involved. The license plate readers are an invaluable tool that assists us in identifying violent crime suspects.”

Not everyone is happy about this Illinois State Police use of this new technology as lawsuits are now being brought forward arguing that they're not constitutional.

How do these Illinois license plate scanners work?

The Illinois State Police have an automated license plate transparency page which explains the process:

"An ALPR is designed to capture an image of a vehicle's license plate. The software then compares the license plate number against law enforcement databases such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Law Enforcement Agency Data System (LEADS), the Department of Homeland Security, and the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS), and National Amber Alerts."

The Illinois State Police have shared numerous real world situations where the automated license plate scanners have helped them locate stolen vehicles and alleged interstate criminals. Do the ends justify the means and the privacy concerns? That will be for the courts to decide.

These 10 Illinois Kids Vanished Without a Trace in Past 30 Days

Gallery Credit: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

More From KHMO-AM 1070, News-Talk-Sports