Tracking uninsured motorist - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Tracking uninsured motorist

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By Marsha Thompson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Little has changed since Mississippi enacted a mandatory auto insurance law 11 years ago. Thousands are driving around without automobile coverage. In fact, Mississippi has the second highest number of uninsured drivers in the country.

Some lawmakers are pushing a bill to change that. Twenty-eight percent of drivers in this state do not have insurance coverage according to the Insurance Research Council. This despite a law requiring all drivers to be insured and carry proof of insurance like this.

But many motorists are cheating by letting their coverage lapse according to State Representative Hank Zuber of Ocean Springs. "Some say the current law just doesn't have teeth in it already. It doesn't because the only thing you have to do is to show your insurance card and what is happening a lot of that 28% then are buying the card then letting the policy lapse."

House Bill 620 is on it's way to the full House creating an electronic system to track drivers that don't carry insurance on their vehicles.

"If you are pulled over for a traffic citation or you were involved in an accident this will allow the law enforcement officer to basically just type in your tag number and instantaneously find out whether or not that car, that auto has coverage." 

Zuber, a republican says the aim is to force more motorists to comply with the state's mandatory automobile insurance law.

"Not only will it allow the law enforcement officer who pulls you over for a traffic citation to check but whenever you go to purchase a new tag or renew your car tag it will allow the Tax Collector to do the same thing."

Under the bill, the Department of Public Safety could run random checks. This bill will also provide instant access to current insurance information. And make it more difficult to get a tag.

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