Louisiana Proposing New Bill Regarding Auto Insurance Checkpoints
The state of Louisiana has an issue with the number of uninsured drivers that they have. According to recent statistics, thirteen percent of vehicles on the road are without car insurance coverage. This is up one percent from 2007 when it was twelve percent.
The United States is facing a crisis because of the number of uninsured drivers that are on the road. Currently, each state averages at about having 13 to 14 percent of its drivers uninsured. In a ranking of states, Louisiana ranked number 22. It is not a great ranking but hopefully it can be improved.
Hurricane Katrina caused a lot of strife in the state several years ago. Many drivers have lower incomes and have a hard time paying their auto insurance premiums. With the country’s unemployment rate at more than eight percent, it is vital that steps are taken to help create a more level playing field for everyone that is involved.
The drivers who follow the law and have auto insurance coverage often feel taken advantage of because their insurance premiums increase every year because of drivers who are uninsured. Now, the state has decided to issues more penalties for drivers who are uninsured.
The first time that a driver is caught without auto insurance coverage, they will face a fine of $175. Every additional offense could give the driver a fine of $500. Fines are important to deterring people from committing the offense. In some states, the license plates and registration of the car are suspended for a specified amount of months in addition to a fine. Louisiana should consider doing this because it sets a precedent so that people think it is more cost effective to buy insurance coverage than take a gamble and go uninsured in order to save money.
A bill called HB 713 is now probably going to be passed. It would make it the law that drivers need to be notified in advance that there will be check points where auto insurance coverage will be checked. The media will have to notify the public as well by television or radio.
Many drivers have stated that it is not fair to have checkpoints without first notifying the public. However, on one hand, this will make it much harder for law enforcement officials to actually track down the drivers who are uninsured because they will just simply avoid the checkpoints.
Publicly disclosing the locations of the check points is an issue because it almost defeats the whole point of having the checkpoints in the first place. One great action that the state has taken is that it has stated that drivers who are uninsured cannot collect a lot of compensation after automobile accidents. They cannot collect the first $15,000 of bodily damages and $25,000 of property damage.
It does not matter if the driver caused the accident or not. The law is to punish people who do not pay their auto insurance premiums. It also helps to reduce instances of auto insurance fraud. Many drivers cancel their insurance policies to get their insurance cards and then stage accidents. If the law prohibits them from collecting compensation in minor accidents then it can greatly reduce instances of insurance fraud.
Other states should consider similar laws because they can help to reduce the number of uninsured drivers that are on the road. When people feel like they will face consequences for their actions then they are more likely to try to get the right type of auto insurance coverage.
Louisiana has great insurance companies that offer online insurance quotes that people can request. Insurance agents can work with drivers to help them at the very least purchase liability insurance coverage. The state requires this coverage on all of the vehicles that are on the road.
Drivers need to understand that what they do impacts every driver. Being uninsured can cost you a lot of money not only in fines but in lawsuits as well. It causes insurance premiums to be much more expensive and makes drivers have to take actions to protect themselves financially such as getting uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
Drivers should make sure that they know when and where the insurance and seat belt check points will be. If you are found to be without auto insurance coverage, then you will be issued a ticket and will have to pay a fine. It stands to reason if HB 713 will be passed. Most politicians feel that it will be passed in the near future but time will tell.