A new Texas law will allow officers across the state, to quickly identify whether or not a driver has insurance. A tool which authorities say is desperately needed.
Someone gets pulled over and the first thing the officer asks to see are license and proof of insurance. “It's on a daily basis, that we come across people either on a traffic stop or involved in an accident that don't have state required liability or insurance, so it is a common problem"
Sergeant Bruce Dawsey says it doesn't matter whether its a routine traffic stop, or a major accident. More times than not, those involved don’t have car insurance, which could be very detrimental.
"If they're at fault and they strike someone’s vehicle not only is their vehicle inoperable, they caused damage to someone else’s vehicle and then their insurance company has to pick up the cost for that."
But finding out whether drivers have it, will soon be easier thanks to the Texas Financial Responsibility Verification Program. This allows law enforcement agencies to quickly determine whether or not drivers have insurance. "It’s going to be a good tool for us, especially if its an easy verification process."
The goal is to reduce the number of uninsured drivers by between 15-20 percent. Dawsey says most of the time, drivers take out insurance for a thirty day period in order to get necessities like registration or vehicle inspection. But forget to renew it!
Now the technology will allow officers to see whether the owner of any car while they are driving down the road. “Pops up and it shows there is no valid insurance then that is probable cause to stop. State law says you have to have insurance if you're going to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway."
Right now, if a driver is caught without insurance in Sherman, they will get their car towed, not to mention penalties that could potentially reach $600 dollars.
So Dawsey's recommendation is simple, “Get in compliance, have insurance if nothing else its common decency. If you don’t care enough about your own vehicle at least care about the other drivers on the road."