Tybee scraps plans to scan drivers' license plates - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tybee scraps plans to scan drivers' license plates

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Tybee Island has scrapped plans to put license plate readers on U.S. 80, readers that would've monitored every tag going off and coming on the island.

The City Council voted to nix the plan at a Monday afternoon meeting at City Hall.

City Councilman Paul Wolfe said the move "would turn us into big brother".

"We would essentially be invading people's privacy, whether or not we used the information, whether or not we used it against them in any way. It's just not a real cool thing to do, I think."

City officials had hoped to use the license plate readers to monitor tourism traffic but found out that's illegal.

"I understand people's concerns," Mayor Jason Buelterman said. "And I think in light of the new information that we couldn't use it for its intended purpose, it didn't make any sense to move forward with it."

Tybee police had been hoping to use the license plate readers to scan vehicles, looking for wanted criminals, stolen cars and people driving without insurance.

That's a move Tybee resident J.R. Roseberry, who attended the meeting, would've supported.

"The idea of anyone opposing the ability to stop pedophiles or rapists or criminals of any kind is... I cannot imagine it," he said.

But Tybee officials say they'd been bombarded with emails from residents who were against the plate readers.

Part-time island resident Demetrius Tsoulous is among them.

"It's a violation of the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution," he said. "I think all attempts to monitor and control people is totally unconstitutional and un-American."

Although they've scrapped the fixed readers, the city council is now considering installing mobile plate readers in police cars.

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