Jan Brewer, Gov of Arizona has enforced a bill which aims at reducing the number of uninsured motorists. HB2224 states that a driver who has a three or more violations for not providing proof of insurance within a three year period will be required to submit proof of financial responsibility before the state restores the persons drivers license and license and registration plates are re-installed.
According to Arizona law, the owner of a motor vehicle must be able to provide proof of financial responsibility; this evidence must be carried in the vehicle at all times. Failure to produce the evidence can cost the driver a penalty ranging from $500 to $1000. The amount fined will be decided depending on whether it is a first, second, or third offence for the driver. The drivers license and the vehicles registration plates can also be suspended for three months for a first offence, and up to twelve months for a third offence as a penalty.
The Arizona Agent’s Alliance which comprises of in excess of 120 independent insurance agencies was in praise of the passing of the bill. The alliance stated that “critical steps to reduce the number of uninsured motorists on Arizona’s roads by creating safeguards against habitual offenders gaming the legal system to avoid the requirement of maintaining financial responsibility to drive in this state.”
The new regulations give magistrates across the state of Arizona the power to access information about the past offences of the person in question in a much more concise manner. It also allows for the regular reporting to prove that the offender has not been cited three times within a three year period. A magistrate can ascertain from an offenders past record if this is indeed a first offence and can be treated as an oversight, or if the person is a repeat offender who shows no reverence for the law. Stricter laws with well defined fines and suspensions also put a certain element of pressure on the driver to ensure that his or her vehicle is insured and road worthy.
The President of the Arizona Agent’s Alliance said, “We truly appreciate the Legislature and the Governor coming together to enact a measure that protects the vast majority of law abiding citizens from those who have been able to game the system and avoid compliance with the law until now.”
The new HB 2224 bill has been passed and will be effective post the 1st of October.