Automated citations to be issued for uninsured motorists

Automated citations to be issued for uninsured motorists
(Shutterstock) Oklahoma becomes the first state to employ high-speed scanners and cameras to detect and deter uninsured motorists on state roads.

Kevin Barnett/Reporter

Tribal tags not yet recognized by camera-based system

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — According to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts Survey, Oklahoma has the highest rate of uninsured drivers on the road at 26 percent.

In an effort to compel drivers to maintain the minimum state insurance requirements, November saw the deployment of Oklahoma’s new traffic cam initiative, the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion Program (UVED).

According to the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, the new program will initially deploy vehicles with scanners and install high-speed cameras in high-traffic areas in and around the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Metro areas to collect data and gauge non-compliance numbers.

Gatso, USA, the company behind the new system expects to install 26 cameras in the two metro areas with 10 more throughout the rest of the state in the first year of the program.

Under the new program, the UVED cameras capture an image of a passing vehicle. Then it cross-references the license plate number against the Oklahoma Insurance Verification System, which has been refined for its integration into the new program.

Once an offender is identified, a notice to respond letter is issued with a fee citation for $174.

If the fee is paid and the driver maintains insurance for a calendar year, the occurrence will be removed from the driver’s record.

But, if the system identifies the driver a second time, the driver’s information will be forwarded to the local district attorneys office to decide the next step.

Although the system is said to be nearly 100 percent accurate when identifying state tags, officials admit the system is not yet capable of recognizing out-of-state or tribal tags and will be unable to track them.

According to the program’s website, erroneous citations can be resolved through the driver’s insurance provider by simply providing the driver’s policy number and the reference number on the notice to respond letter.

The Massachusetts based company behind the new system projects the new program will issue 20,000 citations a month once the program is implemented statewide.

Mvskoke Media has reached out to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tax Commission for more direct information about this program as it pertains to tribal tags and will provide an update accordingly.

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