UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Currently, in the United States, over 12% of all drivers are uninsured. Many factors contribute to this high number of uninsured drivers including illegal immigration, the rising cost of insurance premiums, and economic struggles. Because of these reasons, among others, uninsured drivers on American roads are increasing at an alarming rate, and there appears to be no end in sight.
Driving on the road without proper liability insurance is not only illegal in America, but it can lead to financial ruin. In fact, uninsured motorist claims amount to over $2.5 billion each year in the United States. Without an insurer to pay out on these claims, many uninsured drivers face crippling debt, or even bankruptcy if they are involved in an accident.
This is why police offers are trying to catch uninsured drivers on the road. Police across the country are hoping to limit this amount of reckless behavior by tracking down people who drive without insurance, fining them, and then forcing them to purchase valid insurance before they are allowed to drive again.
What Police Are Doing To Stop This
It’s not entirely possible to end all instances of uninsured driving and to get everybody driving without insurance off the road. With that said, these are some of the things police have been doing to try and catch and/or curb down on these uninsured drivers:
Targeting Previous Offenders
In some states, the police go after people who have previously been caught driving without insurance and pull them over again, to double check if they actually bought an insurance policy. If they did not, they would face suspension of their license.
Using Insurance Company Data
Some states require all insurance companies licensed to operate in the state to share their database of policy numbers and license plate numbers. This is to allow states to match registered cars with their policies so that it is less likely that a driver presents fake or fraudulent insurance information to authorities.
Limiting Claims Paid To Uninsured Drivers
Some states have “no pay, no play” laws that limit an uninsured driver’s ability to file a claim against an insured driver. In other words, if you are not insured and get into an accident with somebody who is driving legally, do not expect to get a big payout from his or her insurance company!
Automatic License Plate Recognition Systems
Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) cameras are a new technology that allows police to quickly and easily find uninsured drivers. With this technology, police can determine whether or not a car is properly insured simply by “running” its license plate. It not only saves the police time, but it also can help drivers limit time wasted when they are pulled over for “routine traffic stops.”
Not only does ALPR help police find uninsured drivers, but it can also be used to catch fugitives, traffic ticket delinquents, people who speed, and car thieves. ALPR’s not only can be attached to police vehicles, but they can also be set up at busy intersections or tollbooths in order to catch even more offenders.
Public Service Announcements
Law enforcement has been known to set up public service announcements along busy roadways to warn motorists of the dangers of driving without insurance. They have also placed television ads, like this one, in hopes to “get through” to more drivers.
Another method of catching uninsured motorists in the act is to set up insurance checkpoints at random points along major roadways. Recently, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the police set up an overnight checkpoint to catch uninsured drivers. During the single night of the checkpoint, police caught 38 people without proof of insurance. Drivers without proof of insurance were given $250 tickets. Drivers with no insurance whatsoever had their vehicles towed.
Never Drive Without Insurance!
With car insurance getting more and more expensive in the United States, many people think that driving without insurance is an option. Please realize that while the penalties for driving without insurance are severe, the cost of being involved in an accident without insurance could be devastating.
There are many methods you can use to save on your auto insurance rates so that driving with a valid insurance policy can actually be affordable. Please do your research to find a reasonable, legal insurance policy so that you do not resort to driving uninsured.