Lubbock towing ordinance in effect, fees add up for uninsured - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock towing ordinance in effect, fees add up for uninsured drivers

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – 

Lubbock Police have not called the tow trucks out yet on uninsured motorists in the city, but they not have the authority to. The ordinance requiring drivers to have insurance was unanimously passed by the Lubbock City Council last month and is now in effect.

"It's a huge deal if someone runs into your car. You obviously want them to have insurance," said Lubbock Police Department Sgt. Jonathan Stewart.

The state department that monitors insurance coverage says one in four drives without insurance. It's a statistic the city council hopes will improve. Cruising around town without coverage will cost you. "Even if your vehicle gets towed drivers will be responsible for towing fees, impound, and storage fees," said Sgt. Stewart.

First time offenders could pay nearly $400 for the citation alone. Even if you follow the Lubbock Wrecker truck to the lot, it will cost you $100.98 to get your car back. Each day you wait you will pay $10 dollars plus tax.

"For all that money it would be easier and cheaper for that person to have insurance to begin with to avoid other costs," said Sgt. Stewart.

State Farm Agent Eddie Wilt says he has seen more people come into his office to renew or purchase policies that meet the state requirement. Wilt says everyone pays for people who drive without insurance.

"I think it will help. It will take a while to be effective and it's just like anything else when people get their cars impounded the word will spread," said Wilt.

On average, Wilt says it costs $450 for six months of coverage that meets state requirements. Police say before you can get your car back you must show proof that you are insured.

While officers can access a state insurance data base from their patrol cars, Sgt. Stewart says carrying proof will save both you and officers time.

The police department is distributing copies of the ordinance to officers and it will be up to each officer's discretion whether to tow a vehicle they pull over. Wilt says if you get a citation for not having insurance that could make your premiums go up.

State law requires minimum coverage of $30,000 per injured person or up to $60,000 for all people injured in an accident. The law also requires $25,000 for property damage.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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