Friday, Governor Mary Fallin said she is directing the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to delay the use of credit card reading devices until a policy and public education campaign is developed.
The OHP has had the Electronic Recovery and Access to Data readers (ERAD’s) for about a month. The agency purchased 20 card readers, with 16 assigned troopers. None of the devices have been used to help seize funds.
The readers are intended to apprehend those involved in identity theft or other illegal activities involving monetary transactions. The highway patrol can scan and seize money from prepaid cards. But OHP stressed troopers do not do this during all traffic stops, only situations where they believe there is probable cause.
Since their implantation, it’s been nothing short of controversy. Wednesday, State Senator Kyle Loveless called for the program to be put on hold.
“The Department of Public Safety needs to formulate a clear policy for using this new technology,” said Fallin. “It can be a viable tool for law enforcement only if authorities are able to ensure Oklahoma motorists and others driving through our state that it will be used appropriately.”
More than 25 states use the card-reading devices. Their use has been upheld by courts.
“The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has enjoyed the trust of Oklahoma motorists for decades,’’ Fallin said. “Taking time to develop policy for the use of these devices and to educate the public will help calm the fears of the motoring public.”