I’ve written before about the pilot program underway in Texas to catch uninsured motorists. The program has been in test mode long enough now for some results to come in. According to the Dallas Morning News, it’s working in Austin. Here are excerpts from a story today:
A pilot program to catch uninsured motorists in Travis County has found that more than one in four drivers is violating the law by not having insurance coverage – a figure that was slightly higher than officials expected.
The insurance verification program, which is about to wrap up a 60-day trial period, will be expanded to Dallas and the rest of the state later this year after officials fully examine the results.
With one week to go, more than 5,000 drivers in the Austin area have already been checked through a new insurance database that verifies whether a motorist has coverage. The 25.5 percent who lacked insurance were ticketed, subject to a fine of up $350 on the first offense and up to $1,000 for the second offense.
Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas said Tuesday that insurers believe the program is nearly ready.
However, he added: “The numbers show that Texas has an even larger number of uninsured drivers than we had realized. And troopers tell us that some areas of the state may have more than half of their drivers uninsured – and that’s scary news for everyone else on our roadways.”
Mr. Hanna noted that some areas of Dallas have uninsured rates approaching 50 percent, according to DPS.