Rhode Island To Crackdown Uninsured Drivers

No one really knows how many uninsured drivers are there in Rhode Island.

But this will not be for long as the legislators in The Ocean State are keen in instituting a system that will crackdown motorists who does not have Rhode Island auto insurance. The bill that will also create a system for fines and warning for uninsured motorists had already been passed by state legislators and now only needs RI Governor Lincoln Chafee’s approval.

The bill will require that the state must have a database that will identify and locate uninsured motorists. In all of the United States, there are only 26 states that have instituted such database.

If passed, the bill will mandate drivers who does not have the required Rhode Island auto insurance, or whose auto insurance coverage had been expired for at least three months, to secure their proof of insurance within a two 15-day warning periods. Failure to comply will result to the revocation of their vehicle registrations. Once revoked, uninsured drivers will have to pay the fine of $250, in order for their vehicle registration to be reinstated.

According to official estimates, around 15 to 18 percent of around 950,000 registered vehicles in the state are uninsured. From January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012, a total of 18,176 citations were given due to operating a vehicle without insurance.

It has been learned that despite computer upgrades in the state’s government agencies, Rhode Island’s Division of Motor Vehicles still thrives on a 40-year old computer system which is not that capable of quickly identifying the number of vehicle registrations that were suspended due to the owner’s failure of having the minimum required auto insurance coverage in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island minimum auto insurance is $25,000 for bodily injury or death for a single person, $50,000 for more than one person; and $25,000 for property damage liability.