Politics & Government
7:28 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Police In NC Could Start Tracking License Plates On State Highways

Photo: A four-way highway intersection at sunset
The North Carolina Department of Transportation could give law enforcement agencies photos of license plates on state highways under a new proposal tentatively approved by the state Senate.
Credit Flickr user Tom

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a bill that would allow police to use photo cameras on state roads to track license plates.

The idea is that the cameras would take pictures of license plates, and police could use them to, for example, find a fugitive. Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford) says that could have helped Guilford County investigators on a recent case.

"Had this technology been available, at a right of way, it would've been possible to track down the individual who had committed the crime," Robinson says.

The words that opponents of this measure used were “surveillance state.” Sen. Tom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) from Wilmington says crime in North Carolina is low and this kind of technology is not necessary.

"When I'm operating legally on a road that I paid for as a citizen, I'm going to be monitored by some nameless, faceless government bureaucrat, to see where I am, where I'm going, monitoring my whole trip," Goolsby says.

The Senate is expected to vote on the proposal again today before it can be sent to the House of Representatives.