LAW -- October 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM ET
Iowa Governor's SUV fleet now 'on the grid'
Law enforcement officials in Iowa will no longer be kept in the dark when they scan license plates for Gov. Terry Branstand's official vehicle and 13 others in his security detail fleet.
Before, the license plate information was not on record in police databases, meaning Brandstad's Chevy Tahoe was exempt from speed infractions and traffic cameras. Now, when law enforcement officials run the plates, the system will show the vehicles as registered to Iowa Department of Public Safety.
The change, announced by the Iowa DPS Monday, comes after an AP investigation earlier this year into how many license plates in Iowa enjoy the same immunity to traffic tickets. A total of 3,200, if you were were wondering -- all issued to local, state and federal agencies.
Branstad is driven by state troopers for official business across Iowa and they've recently come under fire for their lead foot tendencies. Since April, the governor's official vehicle has been stopped twice for exceeding posted speed limits. Last month, the Branstad administration denied a request to reveal how many times law enforcement has checked the license plate of the governor's official vehicle, citing federal law.
Similar controversy over exempt license plates has been raised in Colorado, where 100 state lawmakers there were issued plates not registered with the state DMV, preventing them from being issued photo radar tickets and collection notices from past due parking tickets.