I’ve written many times about the problems Texas has with uninsured motorists. More than 25% of Texas drivers have no auto insurance, even though it’s required by state law. Finally, beginning January 1, 2009, the Dallas police will start towing cars driven by people with no insurance. This new policy will disproportionately affect poor people, who find it harder to afford insurance. But the law is the law – even poor people are required to carry insurance, and I don’t think poverty is a good excuse to drive uninsured. Here are excerpts from a Dallas Morning News article today about the new Dallas police policy:
Beginning Thursday, a new city ordinance gives police the power to tow cars of uninsured drivers who are stopped for traffic violations.
Though the law passed in late May, the City Council chose to delay implementation until the new year so a state database of insured motorists could get up and running. That database isn’t up yet but is expected to be available for Dallas police after the new year, Lt. Harvey said.
The council split 10-5 in passing the new ordinance, with all three Hispanic council members and two of the council’s four black members voting against it. The opponents said they feared that the poor, particularly minorities, would suffer the brunt of the new ordinance.
“In these tough economic times, it’s not just going to be immigrant families who are affected. It’s going to be a lot of families going through hard times,” said council member Steve Salazar.