Police To Crack Down On Uninsured Oklahoma Drivers
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police officers can now verify car insurance in real time. It's part of a new plan to crack down on uninsured drivers.
The state is building a new camera system to run car tags that taps into a new instant check system that's already helping police officers on patrol. The computer in every Tulsa Police car, for the first time, can now instantly verify insurance coverage.
People driving without insurance is a personal issue for Officer Ben Elliott.
“It's happened to me and my family, in the last year, two of my family members have been hit by uninsured drivers, so it happens a lot,” said Elliot.
Officer Elliott said 1 in 6 of the drivers he stops don't have the insurance coverage that's required by law.
“If your insurance isn't valid, if I call your insurance company and they say you canceled your insurance, I'm going to tow your car,” said Elliot.
The instant check system is part of a state program to scan as many car tags as possible and verify insurance. A network of cameras will run every tag on every car that goes by them. Drivers who aren't covered, get a letter and a fine.
The goal is to catch people driving without coverage, which is now reflected in the costs of everyone else's insurance.
“That increases costs for everyone when they have to buy insurance to protect what other people should have purchased instead,” said Oklahoma Insurance Deputy Commissioner James Mills.
The Insurance Commissioner’s office runs the database for instant checks, which went live November 1. It's almost instant information.
"Now we are up to over 98 percent are real-time soon as it happens information,” said Mills.
Right now, the ballpark estimate for drivers without insurance is about 15 to 25 percent of all cars. The state soon will have a solid number from their new system.