Calif. Commissioner Files Uninsured Motorist Ballot Initiative

By | November 27, 2007

Proving rumors true, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has filed a draft ballot initiative with the state Attorney General’s office designed to reduce the number of uninsured motorists on state roads and highways by imposing fines.

The voter initiative, dubbed the “Uninsured Motorists Law Enforcement Act of 2008,” suggests that:

•Law enforcements officers should remove front and rear license plates from a vehicle if the driver cannot provide evidence of financial responsibility (proper insurance coverage) and valid vehicle registration;

•The officer shall provide the driver with a pamphlet encouraging the driver to comply with the financial responsibility law, and inform the driver of possible fines, penalties and other sanctions if compliance doesn’t occur within seven days.

•Vehicle owners, including those who lose their license plates, would be given seven days properly insure their vehicle before severe punishment;

•Peace officers shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether a vehicle is being driven in violation of financial responsibility laws;

According to the Commissioner’s draft initiative, approximately 25 percent of California drivers are not meeting their financial responsibility to acquire and maintain auto insurance as required by law. That costs law-abiding motorists more than $1 billion annually, taking into account that accidents are unnecessarily time consuming and aggravating for properly insured drivers.

Furthermore, the Commissioner indicated that the state’s Low Cost Auto Program, which applies to all 58 counties, provides an affordable and actuarily sound insurance program, giving all vehicle owners the opportunity to comply with the state financial responsibility law.
The draft initiative requires approximately 433,000 valid signatures before it could be placed on a statewide ballot for consideration by voters, according to the Secretary of State.

For more information, visit http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/initiatives/pdfs/i756_07-0086_initiative.pdf.

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