Project Advice: Average speed camera system

I'm working on developing an average speed camera system using a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino that will be used in Zimbabwe on a road that has a very high wildlife fatality rate from collisions with speeding vehicles. 

My thought flow has an air switch that spans across the road that triggers a camera that photographs the license plate, logs and records the vehicles plate using license plate recognition software. 

At a known distance away, a similar system that will take the start and stop data of a given plate and calculate the average speed of the vehicle.  The two systems will need to "talk" to each other utilizing a cell signal and then send the photos etc., to an offsite database.  

I'm new to programming as well building a system like this, but am both enjoying and driving myself crazy with this project.  I am currently trying out some open-sourced license plate recognition software written in Python but haven’t had much luck finding one that accurately recognizes a license plate from a jpg.

If anyone has any thoughts and/or suggestions on some plate recognition code or other elements for my system I would be most appreciative.