Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, but now the state will start using cameras to catch those driving without insurance.
It starts November 1st, with five cameras along busy highways in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Eventually, there will be at least 30 cameras statewide.
On Oklahoma roads, one in four drivers do not carry auto insurance. However, starting next week, cameras will identify those drivers by matching the number on their license plate with a database of insured drivers. It’s the first program of its kind in the country.
Deputy Insurance Commissioner Tyler Laughlin says, “We are able to plug in real time with insurance companies, so if you go get insurance, we should know real time if you have insurance.”
Drivers who don’t have insurance will be fined $174 and will have to get insurance for the next two years or face criminal charges.
News On 6 is told the cameras and maintenance are paid for by a private company that will get a percentage of the fines.
“The State of Oklahoma will pay nothing to get the program in place,” said Brian Hermanson from the District Attorney’s Council. “This program is going to be paid for by those people who are violating the law that are sending this money in.”
Officials say the program will likely save Oklahomans money because insurance companies won’t be forced to pay claims caused by uninsured drivers.
“This should help those persons that are in compliance with the law have lower insurance rates from here on in,” said Hermanson.
Officials say they won’t be keeping or sharing any information they collect.