MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Bikefest officially starts Friday, and police are turning to technology to step up security and battle crime. Forty-two license plate readers will be put in place to cover 42 lanes of traffic at eight major gateways, something officials say will help them monitor certain hot spots.
The license plate reader will snap a photo of every car entering and exiting the city and record the tag, date, time and GPS location.
The software will alert officers if the car or motorcycle is associated with any criminal cases, from burglaries and stolen bikes or cars, to expired tags and murder suspects.
The readers will be along Highway 501, Harrelson Blvd, Highway 17 Bypass, 17 Business, Robert Grissom Pkwy, restaurant row at Carolina Opry, Bellamy Interchange, the back gate intersection of 17 Bypass and Farrow Parkway and Coventry Blvd.
Myrtle Beach police say officers used mobile license plate readers for years, but the readers were mounted on squad cars and limited, because they could only see the location where the squad car is parked.
Now that technology is becoming more widespread, city leaders say it's time to roll out something new, especially on weekends like Memorial Day.
"These cameras are in place so that they will think twice before they bring their bad activity to Myrtle Beach," Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Mark Kruea said.
Although the mounted cameras are new for this weekend, officials said the system will become a routine part of police work and maximize what officers can accomplish.