If the bill passed by Oklahoma Rep. Steve Martin is approved, uninsured vehicle owners would have their cars impounded.
According to Martin, there is a new verification system that would allow instant confirmation on whether an automobile is insured or not. He stated that this bill plans to take advantage of this technology to help law enforcers and other agencies tasked with road safety and management. In the past, such innovation is unavailable.
Department of Safety Captain, Chris West, said that they are open to the idea. He added that such a measure is a welcome step for people to abide by the law and to protect them in case of a vehicular accident or mishap.
He continued that the number of uninsured cars plying Oklahoma roads is estimated to be up to 25 percent.
House Bill 2331, among other things, is calling for a system that would enable law enforcement agencies to verify in a matter of seconds whether an automobile is insured or not. This would dispose of the need for traffic officials to call insurance agencies for confirmation.
This proposed law also provides the penalty of impoundment for those who violate the state’s mandatory insurance policy. Additional safeguards and measures would however, be placed in order to prevent any inappropriate confiscation.
Martin, a Republican from Bartlesville, said that in order to get their cars back, owners must show proof of insurance coverage. Towing and storage fees must also be paid.
Law-abiding motorists are said to be paying extra costs for their premiums in order to protect themselves from uninsured drivers. It is even estimated that the average crash involving the latter amounts to $11,000, according to the Insurance Research Council.
The bill is a move welcomed by residents of the state, particularly those who have experienced road accidents and have had to pay for repairs because the other party is uninsured.
To date, the state of Texas had already implemented a system quite similar with what is proposed in the bill. This year, Texas officials are calling for its stricter execution.
There are more than 30 states which have a program for verification, but none is exactly the same. Some have a random sample method which simply sends out letters to owners of registered automobiles asking them to confirm their insurance policy. Others, as a requisite for registration of vehicles, necessitate a receipt of liability insurance.
Much like Oklahoma, other states also have a policy that it is illegal for a driver to use his automobile without auto insurance.