Steve Martins Robo Plate Trolling Bill for Insurance Verification Curbed by Amendment

Kaye Beach

March 15, 2012

**update** video of House floor action on HB2525 here (choose HB2525)

Sometimes (like when you have the flu…) you really feel thankful for the work of the Oklahoma Watchdog.

Catching up on today’s legislative action in the House as hammered out by the Oklahoma Watchdog himself on Twitter, I found an intriguing description (all in 140 character or less!) of the action taken on the infamous Robo Cop bill by Rep. Steve Martin.

Of course this caught my eye first;

‘HB 2525 by Rep. Steve Martin passed tonight’

Ack!  But wait…there’s more.

It looks like Reynolds added an amendment that ensures that cops can’t just sit around running tags (manually or robotic-ally with the license plate reading cams) and checking to see if the vehicle is insured or not then pulling you over if the system indicates you are not insured.  There has to be some other reason for a stop first.

This ‘trolling’ of plates as a pretense for stopping and fining drivers is what had some Okies inflamed back in Feb. when the bill was first offered by Rep. Martin.

The video for this session is not up yet so I will have to check back tomorrow to be sure but from looking over the bill and amendments it does appear that the “trolling for plates” idea was sent to the curb by Rep. Reynolds!

As reported by the Oklahoma Watchdog on twitter   https://twitter.com/#!/WatchdogOK

  • now up, HB2525 by Steve Martin
  • Martin: one in four motorists are uninsured and law enforcement will need more tools to deal with this.
  • Williams asking if the Martin amendment is a floor substitute because he said “it replaces the bill”
  • Chair: it only amends one section, so it is not a floor substitute

(Martin’s Amendment here)

  • Reynolds amendment: this amendment requires probable cause before an officer can pull you over.

(Reynold’s Amendment here)

Reynold’s Amendment;

By deleting the language in the amendment

b.   at any other time, may access information from the online verification system and, if compliance is not confirmed, stop the operator of the motor vehicle and verify the current validity of the policy described on a security verification form produced by the operator.

And inserting

b.   at any other time, with probable cause, may access information from the online verification system and, if compliance is not confirmed, stop the operator of the motor vehicle and verify the current validity of the policy described on a security verification form produced by the operator.

  • Morrissette: what you’re trying to do is good, but I think it’s written incorrectly
  • Reynolds: you may be right but since I don’t even think we have enough members to suspend the rules I think we should go forward with this.
    • Virgin: so the officer must have probable cause to pull a driver over before checking insurance? Reynolds: yes. (Emphasis mine)
    • There will be debate on the Reynolds amendment to the Martin amendment.
    • My amendment ensures that the bill does what the author says he intends.
    • Reynolds amendment to the Martin amendment passes 39-25(Emphasis mine)
    • martin amendment adopted by voice vote.
    • McCullough: seems like you’re trying to create probable cause by checking the tag to see if there’s insurance(Emphasis mine)
    • Martin: that was the intent but with the Reynolds language it’s now back to existing law.
    • Holland: I just want to make sure that as it stands now, can a police officer run your plate and pull you over for not having insurance? (Emphasis mine)
    • Martin: under current law they cannot and under this bill they cannot. (Emphasis mine)
    • HB2525 passes 56-11

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4 responses to “Steve Martins Robo Plate Trolling Bill for Insurance Verification Curbed by Amendment

  1. The only problem is that they will make up an excuse to pull you over… I know…

  2. At least it won’t be because of a robo-scan because once they allow that-Katy bar the door!

  3. They know now as I have found out. When I went to get the tag renewed on the car I use to drive I was told ‘No need for the verification cause it says your insurance is up to date in our system’. When they run your tag it tells them if your insurance is up to date. What is the difference? Not much.

  4. I’ve got to pay more attention. I had missed this bill.

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