A few weeks ago, I posted two articles about no-fault and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage in Michigan. In our state, drivers are required by law to have valid auto insurance when driving on our roadways. Typically, motorists would be asked to provide proof of insurance during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. But about 6 months ago, new search capabilities began allowing law enforcement officers to check insurance status simply by running a vehicle’s license plate.
Easier To Nab Drivers Without Insurance
Approximately 20 percent of Michigan’s drivers are uninsured, compared to the national average of about 13 percent. Uninsured drivers can cause problems for everyone, because economic costs are shifted to insured drivers, health insurance companies, and even to taxpayers via medical benefits provided by Medicaid and Medicare. Allowing police officers to readily identify uninsured motorists will hopefully deter this behavior.
System Still Has Shortcomings
Currently, insurance companies update the Secretary of State twice per month with reports of which vehicles are insured. As a result, the information available to police officers may not be completely up-to-date and some motorists might actually be insured even though the system says they are not. That raises concerns about officers using license plate searches as a primary reason for stopping a vehicle.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.