Tag Archives: HB 2525

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


Oklahoma Robo Cop Alert! Rep. Steve Martin’s HB 2525

Kaye Beach

**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