Oklahoma City, OK — Law enforcement agencies are utilizing technology to prevent a crime that they say is running rampant in the state of Oklahoma, according to KFOR.
Research shows that one out of every four Oklahoma drivers does not have insurance.
“It affects everybody one way or another,” Tyler Loughlin, chief of operations at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, said to News 4 in 2016. “If you get in a wreck, how are you going to get compensated for the medical expenses you incur?”
A year ago, legislators passed a measure that gave law enforcement agencies permission to use automated license plate readers to help curb the number of uninsured drivers on the road. The license plate readers would run their tags against a list provided by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
This week, Oklahoma put the finishing touches on a deal with Gatso USA to begin installing those license plate scanners on highways across the state.
“We all know somebody or has been somebody who has been in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance,” Sen. Corey Brooks said. “It causes a lot of issues, plus it raises everybody’s insurance rates around the country.”
According to Oklahoma Watch, the scanners will have the ability to identify uninsured vehicles and then mail owners a citation in the amount of $184. Should drivers fail to pay the fee, a charge of driving without insurance will be put on their permanent record, and will face prosecution by district attorneys.
Gatso executives estimate 20,000 citations will be issued a month, beginning as soon as next year.
For the first two years, the company will collect $80 of each fine. That number will then drop to $74, according to a state-approved contract. After five years of use, the company will get $68 of every fine.
The District Attorneys Council will oversee the program instead of police departments. Millions of dollars in revenue is expected to be generated by the district attorneys’ offices from the citations.