Mississippi works on solutions for lowering number of uninsured - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi works on solutions for lowering number of uninsured drivers

Mississippi has one of the country's highest rates of uninsured drivers. Source: WLBT Mississippi has one of the country's highest rates of uninsured drivers. Source: WLBT
The legislature is trying to crack down on the problem, but say it needs more work. Source: WLBT The legislature is trying to crack down on the problem, but say it needs more work. Source: WLBT
Mississippi drivers who follow the law also foot the bill of the uninsured drivers. Source: WLBT Mississippi drivers who follow the law also foot the bill of the uninsured drivers. Source: WLBT
A new law allows law enforcement to use a verification system to automatically check the insurance status using the tag and VIN numbers. Source: WLBT A new law allows law enforcement to use a verification system to automatically check the insurance status using the tag and VIN numbers. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi has one of the country's highest rates of uninsured drivers. The legislature is trying to crack down on the problem, but say it needs more work.

Mississippi drivers who follow the law also foot the bill of the uninsured drivers.

"A lot of folks just don't understand the connection between having insurance as providing a pool of money when people are injured," said Ridgeland City Prosecutor Boty McDonald.

Rep. Gary Chism chairs the House Insurance Committee and says they've made it to first base in trying to crack down on uninsured drivers but still have work to do. A new law allows law enforcement to use a verification system to automatically check the insurance status using the tag and VIN numbers, but Chism would still like to see the legislature add another step to catch folks who are trying to skirt the law.

"What we really need to do is to require whenever you get a tag, to show proof of insurance," added Chism.

McDonald says he frequently sees repeat offenders in their courtroom and he thinks there's a better way to encourage folks to get policies.

"I can't speak to how much better the law will be," said McDonald. "But honestly, most of the people we stop for no insurance, they're driving someone else's car. They don't own a car. It's the license. It's the privilege to drive. If we could attach that to proof of insurance, immediately with technology it would make a huge difference in enforcing."

McDonald knows the state is strapped for resources, but believes insurance companies could also lobby for the change.

"I cannot understand why private sector, that's got so much to gain, wouldn't jump in and provide the software and provide the system because they're going to make money," said McDonald. "People are going to have to go out and buy insurance policies."

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly