Nevada Legislature bill would outlaw GPS devices put on cars by strangers

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 1:59 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A bill proposed in the Nevada Legislature would prohibit people from putting mobile tracking devices on or in cars without the owner’s knowledge.

AB356 was subject to a public hearing Wednesday. Current law in Nevada states that a tracking device using GPS to monitor the movements of a person is considered an invasion of privacy - but not a criminal offense.

The bill would make such activity criminal - the first offense would be considered a misdemeanor, the second a gross misdemeanor, and the third a Class C felony.

Assemblywomen Jill Dickman (Co-Deputy Minority Floor Leader North, Dist. 31) and Selena La Rue Hatch (Dist. 25) have sponsored the bill and were joined Wednesday by Serena Evans, policy director for the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Dickman began the presentation of the bill by stating a number of elected officials have fallen victim to the serious invasion of privacy by being targets of unwarranted GPS trackers.

“Devices planted on their vehicles and family members. It can impact anyone. Stalking by technology incidents are on the rise,” she said.

In Nevada, it is currently not considered a crime to place a GPS tracking device on a person’s vehicle without their knowledge or consent.

Hatch said she was disturbed to find these actions are not considered a crime.

“The individuals targeted are subject to harassment, domestic violence, and there is no recourse for those victims,” she said.

Dickman mentioned the case of Hillary Schieve, mayor of Reno, who back in January of this year a mechanic found such a device on her car.

“It’s incredible what happened - and it can happen to any of us,” Dickman said.

Statistics reported to the committee on Wednesday included that one in six women in the U.S. have been stalked in their lifetime while one in 19 men have been stalked.

Several states have already implemented similar laws including Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Lousiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1.