New Insurance Technology Law

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

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."

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  • by Pebbles Location: Pottsboro on Aug 27, 2007 at 02:26 PM
    For Pete's hard is it to simply "OBEY THE LAW?". I am glad they are starting to impound cars of losers who refuse to buy insurance. They have money for alcohol and drugs...but cannot afford insurance?? I hope there is a stiff penalty for liars who get caught with a bogus insurance card. If you aren't doing anything wrong then you should not have a problem with the law running your plates. I personally pay over $360 per month to insure 3 vehicles and yeah, I would like to drive around for free (without insurance), but because I am a decent and honest person, I OBEY THE LAW!!
  • by Melissa Location: Denison on Aug 27, 2007 at 12:03 PM
    It's about time something is done! I am in the car business and I see people eveyday that have NO insurance and think it's okay! If you can't pay for insurance you shouldn't have the right to operate a motor vehicle, plain and simple!!!
  • by KAREN Location: OKLAHOMA on Aug 27, 2007 at 11:16 AM
    So what's the problem with having your tag ran? If you are legal - nothing. You can carry a photocoppy of your Insurance verification not only in your car - but on your person. Problem solved!
  • by Boo Location: Sherman on Aug 27, 2007 at 09:35 AM
    I think the police have every right to make sure all drivers have some sort of insurance coverage. Save a lot of heart ache when you get hit by someone who doesn't have any. The reason most insurance rates are so high is due to the "uninsured motorist factor"... But I aslo believe it is unjust that our insurance companies are using our Credit Scores to determine our rates.
  • by Mork Location: Ork on Aug 27, 2007 at 09:04 AM
    Sounds to me like a lot of people don't have auto insurance? So for those of you who don't think the cops have the right to run our tags & see if we are insured I have 1 question. The next time an insured driver is in an accident with a scab/scumbag/loser that does not have any insurance, What rights do they have? Try it sometime - it sucks to have to pay for a mistake some low life made but doesn't have insurance to cover it. Where's Mr. X? We may need to "Hang Them"! They dang sure should pay stiff penalties & repeat offenders lose their right to drive. It's just that simple folks. As far as inspection stations, all you got to do is use a (1) fake or (2) insure the car for a month & then drop it. And if you oppose this new enforcement the solution is simple - GO GET YOUR AUTOS INSURED PEOPLE.
  • by JC Location: Denison on Aug 27, 2007 at 08:08 AM
    An officer does have the right to "randomly run your tag". They don't have to stop you to do it, I believe they can do it while following behind you. This isn't the same thing as a traffic stop or search. Also I believe inspection stations are supposed to be able to access the insurance information. If their were not so many people making fake insurance cards or just buying 1 months worth to get the car registered etc, this wouldn't be needed. Insurance rates are high in Texas in part due to uninsured motorist, this isn't a sneaky tactic by insurance companies to get more money, liability insurance is already required by law.
  • by That Girl Location: Bryan County on Aug 27, 2007 at 06:29 AM
    To those of you who are complaining, just go out and buy some insurance.
  • by Rights being taken away Location: Durant on Aug 27, 2007 at 06:18 AM
    if I am involved in a traffic stop or accident I agree that an officer has the right and duty to ask for this information. If I am driving down the road, obeying the law, the officeer does not have the right to randomly run my tag. In my opinion probable cause must exist without the officer "creating" probable cause. I am all for pro-active police officers, but that cannot be done by slowly taking my rights. You cannot justify a solution to the insurance problem by taking away the rights of the majority to punish a few. Find another way to insurance enforcement without giving police officers carte blanche access.
  • by J.D. Location: Sherman on Aug 27, 2007 at 03:27 AM
    The insurance companies have got the Texas "lawmakers" (lol) by the shorthairs...or @ least in "pocket" I wonder who will the insurance companies recruit next to do their "dirty work"$$$.
  • by me Location: every where on Aug 26, 2007 at 09:40 PM
    I don't care if they run my plate 100 times a day. If you are legal and have no warrants you would feel the same way. I feel there should be automatic jail time for people who cause an accident and have no insurance. I have been in 4 accidents all the other persons fault and non had insurance. This last one was a hit and run, the idiot ran into my parked car then took off. They where drinking and driving with no insurance and ran from the scene of an accident. They got 3 tickets and spent 8hrs in jail. I have a crashed car and a 500.00 deductible that I have to pay. If I want the other person to pay the deductible I have to sue them, I will win but I will have to pay for the claim and take off of work. Bottom line, you drive with out insurance you go to jail for 5 days, you are involved in an accident (regardless of fault) you go to jail for 30.
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