Miss. to test new system to find uninsured drivers

Miss. to test new system to find uninsured drivers

(WMC-TV) - It is against the law to drive without car insurance in all Mid-South states. But now, one state has found a way to catch violators in the act.

When getting pulled over, one of the first things asked by police officers is, "Driver's license and proof of insurance, please?"

A new computerized system in Mississippi will stop you from having to dig through your glove box searching for that little slip of paper. It will keep your insurance information for you, but if you show up uninsured, you could get a ticket automatically.

Larry Gateley is fully insured and has the proof.

"In case a police officer pulls me over," he said.

The same goes for David Hayes, but more than a quarter of Mississippi drivers are not insured according to a 2009 Insurance Research Council study.

"Years ago I did get into an accident with somebody who was an uninsured motorist," said Larry Chisholm.

Mississippi's new computer system aims to cut down on uninsured drivers with online verification. Insurance providers would send in records of who has a policy. Law enforcement could instantly check those records at a traffic stop.

"In fact if they do that, I can take it out of my wallet," said Hayes. "It will be one less thing to carry in my wallet."

Here is what drivers may not like:

The system can also automatically send out letters to people who do not appear to be insured.

A deputy director at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said if you don't buy insurance or send in proof that you have it, it could cost you big bucks.

"Everything now is becoming very much big brother stuff looking over and stuff so it's kind of frustrating from that standpoint," said Chisholm.

Projections for the new system estimate that it could generate in the neighborhood of $150 million a year.

According to officials, the state expects to begin testing the system this October before rolling the technology out sometime next year.

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