Michigan lawmaker goes after uninsured drivers
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - A Michigan lawmaker is looking for a new way to fund road and bridge repairs.
Republican State Rep. Peter Lucido says his bills would get more money by going after people who are driving without car insurance.
"We have an epidemic going on here in Michigan: 1.4 million drivers out of 7 million drivers are driving around without car insurance," he said.
Lucido's bills would require police officers to confiscate your license plate if they pull you over and find that you aren't insured. This means the driver of the vehicle will have to purchase a new license plate, plus purchase six months of auto insurance.
"All that money is going to road funding," Lucido added.
"I think it makes a strong statement that for those of us who play by the rules or play fair and have auto insurance, that we have to provide some kind of penalty for those who don't," said Republican Kurt Heise.
But not everyone is on board.
"There is a whole lot of problems associated with that bill," said State Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo).
Hoadley is concerned about what would happen if you were pulled over and a clerical mistake was made by your insurance company.
He says it happens often.
"As a result the law abiding motorist is going to be the one that is inconvenienced and have their license plate destroyed," he said. "We should be looking at ways to solve uninsured motorists in the state of Michigan, but this idea that we are going to create some kind of road side justice is the wrong way to go."
Lucido argues that his bill will help insure more drivers and add more road funds to the state's coffers. He also argues his bills would lower your car insurance rate because he says last year uninsured drivers cost taxpayers $40 per insured car.
"Again, $40 a car. If I can get rid of that $40, that's a $200 saving for my family," he said. "My bill today says this: if you don't have insurance on a vehicle, you are putting us all at risk."
Lucido says he wants lawmakers to take up his bills on Thursday, the last day lawmakers will be in Lansing before they finish off the November campaign.