The Oklahoma legislature recently authorized a profit splitting deal with a division of a Sweden-based high tech company; to scan every vehicle in our state and issue threatening citations and a demand for $174 because the owner didn't buy a liability insurance policy from an approved list of underwriters.
But exemptions were made for:
Civil liberties groups decry the Orwellian tactics which target the little guy and give a pass to corporate violators. Tribal plates on the vehicles of Oklahoma residents already limit our state of needed funds.
The driver of the vehicle is not ticketed; the registered owner is. Hence, even after selling a vehicle, a citizen can be cited if the new owner fails to comply. The Sweden-based corporation gets to divvy up their windfall from the fines, and stockholders in the global corporation should see dividends rise along with the escalation of tickets written.
A recent article in the Tulsa World confirms this report.
Many have asked why a person with a trace of bloodline from one race can get govt. absolution while other races get the 'book thrown at them'. It is indeed a racially based establishment of a 2nd class citizenry, in the eyes of so many.
And an enforcement which selectively oppresses the people already paying registration fees to Oklahoma, while completely ignoring the folks who continue to register in other states, is not justifiable in a constitutional sense.
The Senso group gets nearly half($80) of the collected fines from the mailed citations. Meanwhile, orders for impoundment of vehicles can commence if a letter doesn't get to the registered owner, or if that owner doesn't fully comply in a timely manner.
Never mind the Oklahoma legislature massively increased the cost of registering a vehicle in the state. Citizens now pay hundreds more in taxes to register, because the state supreme court denied that the legislation raised revenue (which was the clear intent in order to fund the 2018 budget).
The 2016 session of the legislature authorized the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion (UVED) which collects the scanned images and confirms accuracy of Optical Character Recognition(OCR) software.
Then all the fleets of corporations and various govt agencies are exempted. After that they excuse any vehicles registered to a tribe or in another state. What's left over are then checked against the most recent databases provided by insurance companies which write state-approved liability policies. Any plate which fails to make it on a list of the 'currently insured' are then sent a threatening letter with a list of demands in order to get to keep their car. Even those who keep their vehicle off the public roads until they are insured, are not exempted from this enforcement.
SB359 was passed with the key sponsorship of Senator Corey Brooks & Rep. Ken Walker, in late May of 2016. Both Brooks & Walker were defeated a month later, in their primary elections. The House passed it on a very slim margin. The Senate passed the first version of the bill, but the conference committee version had resistance from a core group of the more conservative members. Four of the senate supporters are now either convicted of crimes or are still awaiting trial on felonies.
In the house there was a similar story, but Many Democrats also opposed it, largely because of the selective enforcement it imposed on "the little guy".
Read more on the enacting legislation, here.
We're not sure if any legislators bought stock in Senso Gatso Group, but their stock value just rose 2% yesterday, while the global markets were 'tanking'.