The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 16, 2013

Uninsured drivers beware

NORMAN — State Insurance Commissioner John Doak and a handful of legislators and insurance companies are stepping up efforts to make more drivers buy the required automobile insurance.

That’s good news to all of us who pay the premiums on insurance and pray that anyone that hits us also has been as responsible and law-abiding. But it doesn’t always work that way.

An estimated 563,692 Oklahomans are driving without insurance. That number is costing the state $8.8 million in unpaid insurance premium taxes. It also costs fellow drivers in the form of higher insurance premiums since there are so many who are not carrying insurance.

The legislation, Senate Bill 701 and House Bill 1792, would increase fines for uninsured drivers. It would give police officers the ability to seize tags from uninsured vehicles.

Vehicles with seized tags would get a sticker to place in place of the tag until they can buy insurance. The insurance verification system used by Oklahoma tag agents seems to be working but there are always ways to skirt the law.

Some less than responsible drivers buy insurance just long enough to get their registration renewed. If approved, the new law would put some teeth in enforcement.

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