ATLANTA - One state lawmaker says there are thousands of uninsured or unregistered vehicles on Georgia's roads, and he wants to use technology to fix the problem.
"Every year the Georgia Department of Revenue sends out about a million letters reminding Georgia drivers that either their insurance has expired, or the registration has expired," said Sen. Randy Robertson.
Robertson says while more than half of those issues have been resolved, that still leaves hundreds of thousands driving on Georgia roads and highways without insurance, or in an unregistered vehicle.
"All we're trying to do is correct a serious problem of individuals driving without insurance," said Sen. Robertson.
He believes technology can help. He wants to put cameras in patrol cars that would read the license plates of vehicles and alert officers to those who are on the roads illegally.
How does insurance, registration citation surveillance work?
"The technology does the work, so the officer is not looking at a vehicle saying, 'I wonder if...,' Sen. Robertson said. "The technology is popping up right now saying there's an issue with this vehicle. Then, he or she hits the button. The citation is sent."
Sen. Robertson says at a time when many law enforcement agencies are understaffed, this would free up officers to respond to other calls.
"It prevents the officer having to be tied up on the side of the road for 30 to 45 minutes," said Sen. Robertson.
He insists this is not a revenue maker for the police. The citations come with a flat fee, about $100 for no registration and about $200 for no insurance.
"There has to be some penalty there to encourage citizens to go out and get the insurance and drive safely, correctly," said Sen. Robertson.
Sen. Robertson says this technology is already being used in other states. If it becomes law in Georgia, it would be optional for counties and cities to use it.