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There should be a law against breaking the law

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By Ralph Hardin

You know, Michael. I don’t want to be on your side here. I want to be able to form a logical, sensible argument that shows how this new law will work. I know that if I was out of compliance with a law, and I got a notice from the state saying that there would be consequences if I did not get myself into compliance within 30 days, I’d get into compliance. So, I’d like to believe that everyone else out there would do the same.

I want to say, well, Michael, now that they’re cracking down on uninsured motorists, we’ll all be safer, better protected and enjoying the benefits of lower insurance premiums in no time! I want to say those things.

But… I just can’t.

Why not? Because we live in the real world, where people will simply look at their 30-day notices and toss them in the trash. You cite the numbers were talking about here, Michael…

400,000 uninsured vehicles! Even if half of those people are pressured to go out and get insurance, that still leaves 200,000 cars, trucks and SUVs out there on the road without even the state minimum of liability coverage.

So, this new law… if your insurance lapses, any police officer who pulls you over will know it now. You can’t skirt by with a fake card or a policy that shows six months of coverage but you stopped making payments three months ago.

They’ll have real-time data, and it will be up to you to prove them wrong in court.

That’s cool, I guess. But, it does nothing for you if you’re in an accident and the other driver isn’t insured. They’ll get an extra fine to pay.

Big whoop! Anyone who drives around without insurance now is very likely just going to drive around without insurance and a suspended tag.

Like I say, I don’t want to agree with you… so, I’m not. Let’s play the other side of the argument here.

First off, I hate insurance companies. For all the good they theoretically do, I’ve had far more negative experiences with insurance companies than positive experiences. We’re talking about car insurance here, but this applies to all types of insurance companies — you pay premiums year after year, month after month… just money gone. And if you do have to make a claim, well you run into denials, higher payments, red tape and lower-than-advertised benefits.

Michael, let’s not forget this is Arkansas we’re talking about here. You know, one of only a handful of states that don’t require grown folks to wear a motorcycle helmet. We hate being told what to do, and being threatened with a citation for not having car insurance is almost like a “double-dog dare” to some folks.

Don’t get me wrong. It sucks that some people don’t have the decency or concern for their fellow man to have liability insurance on their vehicles, but we can’t act surprised. I will also add that many years ago, I was occasionally without insurance simply because I could not afford it. If I had to choose between food and gas or making an insurance payment? Well, it wasn’t really a choice at all.

Now, there is one question I’d like to ask. If police officers are going to have real-time data that says I do or do not have car insurance, does that mean they can no longer cite me for not having proof of insurance with me in my car?

I only ask because, I can never seem to keep a current card in my family’s vehicles.

In the meantime, let’s see how effective this new law is. Like you, I think folks will continue to drive uninsured. There ought to be a law! Oh, wait…

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