According to Newsok.com, Representative Steve Martin of Bartlesville is seeking to file a measure in the Oklahoma legislature this session that will require Oklahoma law enforcement officers to impound vehicles that do not have insurance when stopped during a traffic collision.
According to the article
Under the proposal, if a vehicle is uninsured, it would be seized immediately by the officer and towed to an impoundment lot until all requirements of the law are met.
As many may recall, Oklahoma law enforcement now have the capability to access insurance information to see if the car owners insurance is current. This would enable law enforcement officials to make this decision in real time.
While I agree that such a proposal is necessary, the one caveat I would say is we need to make sure that the system of identifying whose insurance is current is true and accurate. Over the years, we have litigated numerous car accidents where the insurance company first states that insurance is not current to only change their mind when confronted with the evidence. Many car ownres cannot afford the fees imposed by having their car impounded while they argue with their insurance company over whether their insurance is current.
I would like to point out one statement by Representative Martin wherein he states
“We have all heard the tragic stories of victims of uninsured motorists. This is a positive step for the citizens of Oklahoma.”
I too deal with stories involving the uninsured on a daily basis. I applaud Representative Martin’s choice to defend the public against the uninsured but I would respectfully remind him that the Oklahoma legislature has in recent years attempted to put the rights of the insurance companies above the rights of Oklahomans. Our system of civil justice has been greatly harmed with burdensome laws designed solely to protect the guilty and their insurance company. Here we want to punish the guilty which I agree with. However, if we are going to be altruistic please keep in mind that last years so called tort reform harmed “victims” just as much as uninsured motorists do.