An Oklahoma state legislator is voicing out apprehensive regarding a supposed plan to upgrade Oklahoma’s insurance verification system with the use of cameras and more high-tech electronics.
Oklahoma City Rep. Mike Reynolds said that the proposed upgrade is more like going beyond the boundaries of the privacy of motorists and seems more like “Big Brother” intruding into the lives of Oklahomans. According to sources, the plan enhance the state’s verification system intends to make use of electronic cameras that would randomly monitor and record car tags.
Cameras will be set up and installed at around 200 different highway posts and locations. The cameras will take shots of bar code located at the bottom of each vehicle’s tag and store the information. The recorded information will then be used by bar code scanners to match them with the tag numbers from a national database that has real-time car insurance data. With this, any mismatch will immediately cause an alarm and car owners that have invalid insurance would then receive a ticket. While reports lead to the approval and sound idea of the planned upgrade on the system, Reynolds argue that the public might be concerned of the fact that they will be filmed from time to time.
On the other hand, according to the Oklahoma Public Safety Department, there has been a study that reveals that approximately one out of every four Oklahoma drivers is hitting the road without auto insurance, and having a more high-tech and state-of-the-art camera insurance verification system is an excellent way to weed out the uninsured drivers from the rest of the policyholders.
Insurance providers in Oklahoma patiently wait for the legislation to approve the said car insurance verification enhancements. According to them, the state’s plan will extremely help in the campaign for optimum road safety and in making sure that all drivers are insured at least by the state’s minimum requirements before they go on the road. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Public Safety Department, who also has a positive stand about the issue, defends that there are other states such as Texas that already implemented a technology-based car insurance verification program and the public didn’t feel that they were being watched or overly monitored.
Back in 2008, Texas lawmakers implemented its Financial Responsibility Verification Program to lessen the number of uninsured drivers in their states. Back then, there were 20% of the cars on the road were uninsured. With the state’s thorough implementation of the program, the number of uninsured motorists has steadily declined. Oklahoma lawmakers foresee the same results once their own enhanced verification program has been implemented.