Legislation in the Missouri House could penalize someone for unlawfully tracking a vehicle.

Under the bill from Rep. Kemp Strickler, D-Lee’s Summitanyone who installs, conceals, or otherwise places an electronic tracking device without the owner’s consent could get up to 6 months in jail. Strickler told Missourinet that the idea came from a constituent of his.

“One of my now constituents had told me a story about how his partner had been tracked by her ex-boyfriend,” he said. “They were trying to figure out and they figured it out and he was like, ‘it seems like there should be a bill against this,’ and I fully agreed.”

Exceptions to the bill include criminal investigations, the discretion of a parent or guardian, or if the vehicle is being repossessed. 

“In this bill, it would be a class B misdemeanor which means it can be up to 6 months in jail up to a $1,000 fine for violating this provision,” said Strickler.

The Missouri Insurance Coalition expressed concern that the bill’s language is too ‘broad’ and could ‘inadvertently interfere’ with safety equipment they use to track driving habits that result in insurance discounts.

Strickler called it a safety concern.

“Where we go, where we’re going, where we are at, should be private unless we give that consent to our spouse, to our partner, to whoever,” he said. “You know, I think this is all about the consent of the person and making sure that they don’t get surprised outside their home.”

The bill passed out of committee and could be heard by the full House soon.

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