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Tybee Island to install license plate scanners
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — License plate scanners will soon track cars coming and going from Tybee Island.

The island's city council recently voted to install two license plate cameras on the Lazaretto Creek Bridge.

The Savannah Morning News reported that the cameras will first be used to track visitors to the coastal island for tourism studies. The council required that city officials create a policy about how the data are used and stored before law enforcement officials can use the system.

The system could notify police when it detects a license plate from a stolen vehicle, a car that lacks insurance or a vehicle whose owner is wanted on an arrest warrant, said City Manager Diane Schleicher.

"Tybee's unique in that we only have one way on and off," Schleicher said. "So, this will be another tool for police to use, and maybe it becomes a deterrent — say word gets out that if you cross Lazaretto Bridge and you have an outstanding felony warrant there's a real good chance you're going to get caught."

The council approved nearly $29,000 for the system and some city officials said the city needs to form clear guidelines governing how long date from the cameras can be stored.

Schleicher said the city is not trying "to have Big Brother watching over everyone," and added that the police department's usage policy will likely be ready in time for the council's Dec. 12 meeting.

City councilman Jan Fox suggested that all information gathered by the scanners should be destroyed within 72 hours unless it's part of a criminal investigation.