Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would require all new vehicle transport vehicles sold in the state to include a GPS device that allows them to be tracked.
The bill, which has been referred to the House Transportation Committee, would make it illegal for any vehicle to be sold in Texas without a GPS system that could be used to track the vehicle’s whereabouts.
The legislation has yet to make it out of committee, but it’s likely to be included in the Senate as early as next week.
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The move comes amid a statewide push to install GPS systems on new vehicles that would help law enforcement better track and apprehend criminals.
Texas already has strict rules that require all vehicles sold with a GPS chip installed to be equipped with a secure tracking system, which would be able to be used only by the manufacturer or dealership.
The Texas Highway Patrol, which currently uses a similar system to track cars, says it doesn’t have the resources to install the tracking system in every vehicle.
The state law is also aimed at protecting Texas motorists from theft and other crimes that can occur when a vehicle isn’t properly secured.
A similar measure in Florida would require manufacturers to install tracking systems in all new vehicles.
The GPS chips installed on new vehicle models would also be required to display the current location of the vehicle, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of a 2016 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The institute’s analysis found that about 80 percent of the 1.3 million GPS chips that were tested in 2016 were found to be inaccurate, and only 30 percent of those were capable of being used by law enforcement.
“The data from the IHS report shows that the accuracy of GPS signals is still significantly lower than the data that is available from vehicle sensors,” the Insurance Industry Association of Texas said in a statement.
The latest bill would require that a GPS-equipped vehicle must also be equipped to display a current GPS signal that can be tracked for an additional two hours per day, the bill states.
The bill does not require manufacturers or dealers to install any other security measures.