A program using cameras to catch motorists without auto insurance is gaining in popularity across the country, and has now been adopted in Mississippi, a state with one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers.
The City of Ocean Springs, on the Mississippi Coast, said it has contracted with Securix, a security company, to use traffic cameras on busy roads to check license tags and insurance information, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald newspaper. Mississippi law prohibits the use of cameras for enforcing traffic laws, such as red light and speeding violations. But statutes do not mention the use of cameras to catch insurance violations, officials said.
Motorists who are notified of the violations can pay a $300 fine, sign up for insurance and attend a safety and insurance class; or they can fight the ticket in court, the newspaper reported. When the fine is paid, it is split between the city and Securix.
Mississippi officials said motorists are paying up, but that more enforcement is badly needed. Mississippi leads the nation, with some 29% of cars without insurance, compared to a national average of 13%, the Insurance Information Institute has reported.
“In the last couple months, we have identified close to 6,000 violations,” Ocean Springs Police Chief Mark Dunston said. He noted that about 2% of cars so far have been wrongfully identified as not having insurance.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.