Tucson City, Arizona- City court ruled out last Friday in favor of greater sanctions against drivers who cannot show proof of insurance. Higher fines and suspension of license and registration will be imposed on violators. The decision came after Tucson City Court noted that no proof of insurance has become the most common citations they get.
The court decision will take into effect starting October 1. Before, a driver who is caught with no proof of insurance will be cited by traffic officers and his case is brought to court. If the driver is able to present the necessary documents, the charges against him will be dropped.
With the new ruling, an insurance proof alone will not be enough to reduce penalties. A car owner can only get a reduction in the fine if he is able to show that he has not been cited for the same violation in the last two years, or if he has only incurred one in the past three. Otherwise, he will receive a fine of up to $1,000. If a driver fails to show proof of insurance to the court, his license and registration will be suspended.
First time violators will be charged with a $500 penalty, excluding court fees and surcharges. Penalty for second offense is $750, with court fees and surcharges to be added to it. $1,000 is given to third time violators plus the same additional fees. At least a six month policy is necessary to avoid court sanction.
However, Tucson City Court has the right to reverse or reduce the severity of penalties according to its discretion. It may lower monetary penalties or waive the suspension, depending on a specific case.
Meanwhile, car owners in Tucson city have dissenting opinions on the new policy. Some drivers say that it is a good idea but they would prefer community service since most people skip out on fines. Some completely agree with the decision, adding that vehicle insurance has become more necessary because risks in vehicular accidents have risen lately.
Industry experts advise vehicle owners to purchase vehicle insurance now before they rack up additional costs. Arizona Auto Insurance Law requires every driver to have at least $55,000 worth of minimum liability coverage. A report recently released by a private organization reveals that about 22% of drivers in the state are uninsured. This ranks Arizona as the fifth state with the highest number of uninsured motorists, with Mississippi on top of the list.