The Daily Gazette in Sterling, Illinois reported on March 28, 2010 that the state police authorities head been tightening the enforcement of traffic law compliance. The police department had named the exercise as Operation COPS. This exercise is a traffic safety program that had been utilized in various parts of the United States regularly. The Illinois State Police Department had partnered with the Sheriff’s Department of Whiteside County and the police departments of Sterling and Rock Falls to continue this program in the state.
The aim of the Operation COPS is reducing the number of accidents, saving lives of drivers and passengers, and ensuring that the traffic rules and regulations are fully complied with. The sheriff department news release stated that the money confiscated from drug dealers would be used to run extra patrols for conducting Operation COPS. The patrol detail would be continued throughout this year. The operation would remind people to drive in sober conditions, obey speed limits and stop signs, and encourage the drivers and the passengers to have adequate auto insurance.
In the first phase of the Operation COPS, the police arrested 24 people for traffic violations. An interesting fact in these arrests was that 10 of the 24 arrested persons had no proof of auto insurance. Seven others were arrested for violation of speed limits and other traffic regulations like driving against stop signs, etc. Two were arrested for suspended license, while another 2 for not having valid driving license. The other arrests related to illegal transporting of substances such as alcohol and marijuana or possession of controlled substances.
The above exercise as well as similar operations in other states in US reveal that people driving automobiles do not take auto insurance as a serious matter. This kind of negligence continues in spite of the fact that auto insurance costs are being lowered by insurance companies in many states. The average annual auto insurance premium rates varied from $500 to $1,150 in the 50 states, with the average annual premium remaining around $800 in many states. This amount could not be considered as a big expense at all but the coverage and protection offered by paying this amount would be immeasurable. It would be helpful if auto drivers and passengers understood the importance of auto insurance and paid the annual premiums promptly to protect themselves during accidents and to avoid unwanted arrests by the police department for gross traffic violation.