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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – Starting November 1, law enforcement officers will be able to remove the tags of uninsured vehicles in the state of Oklahoma. House Bill 1792, proposed by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak and recently signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin, will also provide temporary liability insurance for the uninsured vehicle for ten days.
“This is a great victory in our efforts to curb the enormous impact uninsured driving has on Oklahoma citizens on a daily basis,” said Doak. “I am very grateful to Gov. Fallin and the bill authors for working so hard to see this law come to pass. We are one step closer to putting an end to this serious problem.”
House Bill 1792, authored by Sen. Corey Brooks, R-Washington and Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, seeks to lower the number of uninsured motorists in Oklahoma over the long-term while providing minimum liability insurance in the short-term at no cost to the state. Law enforcement officers will be allowed to remove the tag from the uninsured vehicle and replace it with a temporary sticker, insuring the driver for a period of up to ten days. Once the offender pays the required fees and fines and purchases insurance, his or her tag will be returned.
“Driving without insurance is not only irresponsible and illegal, it also raises costs for those who play by the rules and insure their vehicles,” Gov. Fallin said. “This bill will give law enforcement officers another tool to encourage all drivers to purchase insurance, and to thereby drive down costs for everyone.”
“For every motorist driving without auto insurance in Oklahoma, those who do obey the law and purchase insurance pay more,” said Chuck Mai, Oklahoma AAA Vice President and member of the Coalition Against Uninsured Drivers (CAUD). “And when the number of uninsured motorists reaches 25 percent of all drivers, the rest of us wind up paying a lot more. This law will do much to bring those numbers down.”
“It has been estimated that the financial cost of uninsured driving to the state alone is around $9 million in lost premium taxes. This money would have gone to into the General Revenue Fund to help fund public schools, social services, police and firefighter pensions, and other vital programs,” said Doak. “We cannot afford uninsured motorists on our roads any longer.”
The new law was modeled after a similar law in Louisiana. The uninsured motorist rate in Louisiana dropped from 30% to 12-13% upon implementation of the law.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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