Paperless Traffic Stops Open To Abuse

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Last week Governor Brewer signed HB 2677 which is a first step in allowing drivers to hand their cell phone over to a cop rather than the traditional license, insurance and registration when pulled over for a traffic violation.

On February 11th, the Arizona Daily Sun published a very interesting article explaining the thought process behind this and similar Arizona bills and what lawmakers are hoping to accomplish.

Forget your wallet or driver’s license? Lose your insurance card? No problem. If there is one thing people always have with them, it’s their cell phone. Hand it over and everything will be fine.

The concept is being sold to the public in the name of convenience but reading between the lines, I get the impression that lawmakers and law enforcement are giddy at the idea of people handing their cell phones over to the police to be checked without a warrant.

Cops will instantly have access to your internet search history, contacts, and messages while you smile and willfully waive your Fourth Amendment rights.


“Thank you sir, I’m going to take your phone back to my patrol car and punch in your information. Be right back.”


“Awesome! Getting a ticket has never been so easy!”

Some of my readers are probably thinking that I’m overreacting and that police are here to protect us and would never abuse their power or overstep their authority. Here is an article from yesterday’s New York Times explaining just how far law enforcement is willing to go to get your personal information. You be the judge:

Police Tracking Of Cellphones Raises Privacy Fears

  1. SlimStrontem
    April 2, 2012 at 4:55 am

    APRIL FOOLS! uh, wait, this is REAL?

    AZ already has a database structure that tells cops if your insurance is current. What the heck is this needed for? Nothing good, I’ll bet.

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