Enlarge (credit: Jef Nickerson)
A Rhode Island legislative committee has approved a bill that would greatly expand the surveillance state through the deployment of license plate readers. For the first time in the US, these devices would be attached along Rhode Island highways and roads for the stated purpose of catching uninsured motorists from any state.
The House Corporations Committee approved the bill on a 7-2 vote earlier this week.
The legislation spells out that the contractor for the project would get 50 percent of the fines paid by uninsured motorists ensnared under the program.
The state and the contractor would each earn an estimated $15 million annually.
Fines are as high as $120.
Many police departments nationwide are using surveillance cameras tacked onto traffic poles and police vehicles to catch traffic violators and criminal suspects.
The proceeds from traffic fines usually are divvied up with contractors.
But according to the Rhode Island lawmaker sponsoring this legislation, it’s time to put surveillance cameras to a new purpose—fining uninsured motorists.
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