State sees drop in uninsured drivers on road

Published 9:24 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

The rate of uninsured motorists in Alabama has decreased by nearly half over the past six years, according to a recent statistical review by the Alabama Department of Revenue.

DOR analysts reported the rate of uninsured motorists is now 12 percent, which is nearly half the rate the Insurance Research Council measured in 2010 at 22 percent.

Although theses readings are generalized for the state of Alabama, it is unclear if these results hold true for Selma.

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“We still get a lot of tickets, but that doesn’t mean [there hasn’t been a decrease],” said Selma Police Department chief John Brock.

Brock said he would not have access to the city’s statistics until Tuesday, when city offices reopen.

The state decrease is attributed to the Online Insurance Verification System (OIVS), which was legislatively mandated by the department.

It was fully implemented and in production in January 2013.

The system was created by ADOR to allow end-users such as DOR, license plate issuing officials, courts and law enforcement to determine if a particular motor vehicle is insured.

Before, the procedure for ADOR was to randomly select samples from the pool all of the vehicle registrations.

ADOR would then mail letters to the addresses asking for proof of insurance and to mail it back.

The new system connects end-users more directly to the insurers, cutting out the possibility of lost mail, forgotten mail or other errors. According to a release by the governor’s office, the response for requesting parties is returned in less than a second.

Since implementing the system, uninsured drivers have been more efficiently detected and decreased program costs. Therefore, the rate of uninsured drivers have decreased and increased revenue.

According to the governor’s office, Alabama has experienced a 60 percent drop in citations issued for driving without insurance over the past three years. The revenue abstract available on the ADOR website states the net collections related to MLI reinstatements fees in 2014-2015 was $2,197,536, compared to 2013-2014 with $1,128,334 and 2012-2013 with $892,121.

Anyone convicted of a mandatory liability insurance violation can be fined up to $500 on his or her first violation and up to $1000, subsequent violation or six months license suspension on the second offense.

In addition, if a vehicle is registered or operated without liability insurance, registration will be suspended and the operator will be fined a $200 reinstatement fee on the first violation. On the second violation, the operator will be required to pay a $400 reinstatement fee and wait a mandatory four-month registration suspension.