**Update Feb 12, 2012-this bill passed the Public Safety Committee last Wed. Rep Martin says it has nothing to do with tag scanning cameras. I’m placing bets (figuratively speaking) on how long it will be before insurance verification is added on to the ALPR cameras already on some of the police cars in the state.**
Feb, 4, 2011
And I thought I missed Groundhog Day.
I got this email alert on HB 2525 by Rep Steve Martin from Oklahomans for Liberty tonight.
HB 2525 will allow police to pull you over… Not because you are speeding, not because you are driving erratically, but to check and see if your auto insurance is expired. Click here to read the bill.
In fact, it can be the PRIMARY reason you are pulled over
(pg 3, line 11)
Oklahomans for Liberty asks;
Rep. Martin, please explain how the police can determine my insurance isn’t current before they pull me over? Do they have some newfangled x-ray device that can see through my car AND my wallet to read the date on my insurance card?
I can answer that. No. It’s not an x-ray device but it’s close and this where the ‘Robocop’ comes in. It’s called ALPR-Automatic License Plate Reader, and these things are all the rage.
ALPRs are not ordinary cameras. Attached to police cruisers, or fixed on telephone poles or other stationary places, the cameras snap an image of nearly every license plate they encounter. The device produces a file for each image captured, which includes searchable text displaying the time, date and GPS location of the car when and where the plate was ‘read’. This information is fed into a database, where it can be shared with other agencies and databases, and “mined” or analyzed. Read more
ALPR, known not-so-affectionately in Oklahoma as Spy Cams, caused such an outrage across the state that one of only a handful of questions asked to gubernatorial candidates Jari Askins and Mary Fallin at their face off preceding the election was regarding their stance on the use of the devices.
And if this all smells vaguely familiar to you, it should because we have stepped in this pile before!
Back in 2010, HB 2331 by Steve Martin proposed to amend Title 47 “to allow at-will random insurance verification via an online insurance verification system, without a traffic-stop or accident having occurred first; the bill further gives authority for law enforcement to then seize the vehicle if found to be uninsured.
Observation or verification can be conducted from a fixed location, i.e. from the roadside, or from a moving patrol car. Oklahoma utilizes an online insurance verification system, which may or may not be accurate.” (from a 2010 OK-SAFE Action Alert) Read more
HB 2331, the 2010 bill by Rep. Steve Martin, as introduced, required officers to seize the vehicle if a driver had not complied with the Compulsory Insurance law.
Upon issuing a citation under this paragraph, the law enforcement officer issuing the citation shall seize the vehicle being operated by the person
Confiscating property is a big deal and this bill took away the ability of an officer to use their good judgment. I was outraged by Rep. Martins answer when he was asked if a woman and her children should be just left on the side of the road at night because of lack of insurance and he said absolutely-YES!
Martins 2010 bill, HB 2331 was amended and softened by replacing the word “shall” with “may.” The bill passed both houses and was ultimately signed into law.
But back to Rep. Steve Martin’s current bill, HB2525. Currently the insurance verification law reads;
Establishing compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law through the online verification system shall not be the primary cause for law enforcement to stop a motor vehicle
If Rep. Martin’s new bill HB 2525 passes law enforcement will be able to drive around with their little spy cams mounted on their cars and scan every plate they pass. Every time the spy cam alerts that a motorist does not have insurance the officer can promptly issue a ticket. These tag scanning cameras (ALPR) can scan hundreds of tags per hour. I predict that the time it takes to stop you and actually issue you a citation will soon be seen as an obstacle to the efficient revenue enhancement of the state and they will just mass mail the tickets out automatically before long.
By the way, these tag scanning devices can do a LOT more than just check for your insurance status.
Oklahomans for Liberty recommends (and I agree!) that we might want to talk to our legislators who are on the Public Safety Committee pronto because the bill goes to that committee this Wednesday, Feb 8th (Room 512A at 10:30 AM)
This bill is being heard Tuesday Wednesday morning so we need to call the members of the Public Safety Committee and urge them to vote no on HB 2525. Here is the list of the committee members. I urge you to contact as many as you can before Tuesday morning.
|Representative Sue Tibbs, Chair||(405) 557-7379|
|Representative Steve Martin, Vice Chair||(405) 557-7402|
|Representative Ed Cannaday||(405) 557-7375|
|Representative Josh Cockroft||(405) 557-7349|
|Representative Doug Cox||(405) 557-7415|
|Representative Tommy Hardin||(405) 557-7383|
|Representative Chuck Hoskin||(405) 557-7319|
|Representative Fred Jordan||(405) 557-7331|
|Representative Charlie Joyner||(405) 557-7314|
|Representative Al McAffrey||(405) 557-7396|
|Representative Pat Ownbey||(405) 557-7326|
|Representative Pam Peterson||(405) 557-7341|
|Representative Brian Renegar||(405) 557-7381|
|Representative Paul Roan||(405) 557-7308|
|Representative Todd Thomsen||(405) 557-7336|
|Representative Steve Vaughan||(405) 557-7355|