OKLAHOMA CITY -- A bill that would allow law enforcement to impound uninsured vehicles in Oklahoma is on the way to Governor Henry's desk.
House Bill 2331 was sponsored Representative Steve Martin, a Republican from Bartlesville, and Senator Gary Stanislawski, a Republican from Tulsa.
It would give law enforcement the authority to seize an uninsured vehicle during a traffic stop and have it towed to an impoundment lot until it can be legally redeemed by the owner.
"This bill addresses one of the most consistent problems in Oklahoma today, getting uninsured motorists off of the roads," said Martin. "Oklahomans are fed up with this problem and they want us to take strong action to solve it. Fortunately, new technology allows us to better enforce the law."
"Responsible Oklahoma drivers who abide by the law should not have to worry about traffic accidents with uninsured drivers. It is a slap in the face when you have to pay for both your insurance and the cost of repair when hit by an uninsured driver," said Stanislawski. "Those not obeying Oklahoma's compulsory insurance the law will risk not only the fines currently in law, but also inconvenience and cost of having their vehicles legally removed from the roadway."
Martin said House Bill 2331 would take advantage of the state's new instant-verification system which allows officers to determine within seconds of a traffic stop if vehicles are covered by insurance.
The instant verification system, ordered by an act of the state legislature in 2006, has been created through cooperation of the insurance industry and the State of Oklahoma. It's now fully operational and has been available to law enforcement for several months.
Until now law enforcement had no power to seize an uninsured vehicle.
House Bill 2331 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 93-3 and the Oklahoma Senate 41-4.