Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to let law enforcement agencies automatically scan motorists’ license plates, to crack down on car thieves and insurance scofflaws.
The House and Senate voted Thursday for a proposal by Republican Sen. Ronnie Johns, of Lake Charles, creating a pilot program that will allow the practice until 2021. Senate Bill 250 goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal for consideration.
Johns touted the technology as an easy way for police to cross-check license plates with police databases. If a scan yields results, officers could have probable cause to make an arrest, or issue an insurance citation to a vehicle owner.
The bill doesn’t allow stationary traffic cameras to scan plates. Departments that opt into the program would have to coordinate efforts with local district attorneys.