Senate Backs Bill Letting Police Automatically Scan Plates

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A Lake Charles senator is back with his proposal to allow law enforcement agencies to automatically scan motorists' license plates.

         Former Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed the bill last year, so Republican Sen. Ronnie Johns asked senators to try again this year now that Gov. John Bel Edwards is in office.

         The Senate voted 30-3 Wednesday for the measure.

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         The bill would create a pilot program that runs until 2022 to crack down on car thieves and insurance scofflaws. Johns describes the technology as a way for police to cross-check license plates with police databases to determine if vehicles are stolen or uninsured.

         Jindal raised privacy concerns, saying data collected through scans could be stolen or misused.

         The proposal heads next to the House for consideration.

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