By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Right now if you are pulled over by a Lubbock Police officer you could get a fine or lose your license if you're not insured, but if one city councilman gets his way a proposed ordinance could include the towing of your vehicle.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance as of December 2010 one in five vehicles in Lubbock are uninsured, which is why city councilman Paul Beane and Jim Gilbreath are sponsoring the proposed ordinance.
"The number has grown by 5,000 uninsured motorists in the past four months," said Councilman Paul Beane, City of Lubbock.
In May of 2008 other cities in Texas like Dallas, El Paso and Corpus Chrisi adopted similar ordinances. If you don't have vehicle insurance your ride could be towed. Lubbock could soon follow the lead if this ordinance is passed.
"We're temporarily removing a vehicle from the streets that has the ability to cause financial harm to others. It's as simple as that," said Beane.
Beane said it's a way to deter people from breaking the law. "When you grow from 21 percent in August to 25 percent in December 2010 something in the system is wrong, and something has to be done to curve this epidemic," said Beane.
First time offenders face up to $350 in fines plus court costs. Repeat offenders face $1,000 in fines plus court costs and possible suspension of their license for up to two years. The proposed ordinance would add towing on top of the fines.
But it would not allow a traffic stop for insurance alone. LPD would have the option to tow your vehicle if it's not insured only when they pull someone over after a another moving violation.
"Once they stop someone and they have no insurance. Do they let that vehicle drive away knowing they don't have insurance? It poses an interesting question for the Lubbock Police Department," said Beane.
The owner could then get the vehicle back after paying costs of towing, notification, impoundment, storage and showing proof of financial responsibility.
We tried to reach out to other city council members who do not support this ordinance, but Beane said he knows at least two that have expressed concern and do not want to support it.
From our Facebook page, Marilyn Gates commented that she disagreed with the proposal. "There is a lot of ppl driving w/o insurance out there, most of which can't afford it, if you tow their vehicles off, then they will have to pay a tow charge and a storage fee, on top of trying to get insurance! I disagree with that proposal," said Marilyn Gates, Facebook fan.
As for Julie Denton she agrees. "If you can't afford insurance....DON'T DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!," said Julie Denton, Facebook fan.
The Texas Department of Insurance said it is illegal to drive without insurance.
If you need help finding insurance they suggest you to go to their state website at helpinsure.com
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