Pennsylvania HB 317 – An Act providing for automated license plate reader systems
An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in penalties and disposition of fines, further providing for surcharge; providing for automated license plate reader systems; imposing penalties; and establishing the ALPR Equipment Fund.Full Bill Text
UPDATE July 18, 2019: Transportation Committee schedules public hearing for August 13, 2019.
HB 317 was introduced on February 1, 2019 and referred to the House Transportation Committee. The Committee has not yet scheduled a public hearing on the bill.
HB 317 provides for the funding of the ALPR (automatic license plate reader) Equipment Fund by levying a surcharge against motorists as part of traffic violation penalties. That is one NMA objection. The other is the introduction of ALPRs, particularly when legislation such as this allows PA law enforcement to contract with third-party, for-profit vendors for operation of the readers.
ALPR systems, when allowed by statute, must include some very specific consumer privacy protections as noted below. HB 317 fall short on many of them:
- It is unlawful for any business, individual, partnership, corporation, association, or state/local government non-law enforcement entity to use an ALPR system;
- State or local law enforcement may use an ALPR system but only to compare collected license plate data with specific federal and state enforcement databases and only for flagging specific alleged offenses;
- Captured license plate data shall be destroyed by the ALPR operator if the application for a disclosure order is denied or at the end of 14 days, whichever is later;
- Certain entities authorized to use ALPR systems shall not sell, trade, or exchange captured license plate data for any purpose.