Proposed bill that does away with fine for not having insurance card passes House

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma representative is taking on a law that would punish drivers who don’t have proof of insurance on hand.

House Bill 2473 would remove the penalty for failure to show proof of insurance when an officer is able to verify that the driver does have current insurance.

“Let’s modernize this ‘dinosaur’ statute,” said Rep. Ken Walker. “It simply is not appropriate for law enforcement to fine a citizen who has insurance but may have, for a myriad of reasons, not have the proof of it on their person or in their vehicle on any given day. I do understand that there may be instances in which someone’s insurance can’t be verified, so my bill covers that by only removing the penalty in certain instances. I think it is more than appropriate to remove an inconvenience that does not serve a purpose.”

Walker says that many of the drivers simply break the law by accident by not knowing where their verification is, or not having the most recent document.

The legislation was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“The overwhelming, bipartisan support didn’t surprise me,” Walker said. “I think we all have forgotten our wallet or jumped in our spouse’s car and accidentally failed to have our insurance verification form on us. It’s a universal mistake and one that should not carry a fine when law enforcement has access to a database to verify insurance. What the database says actually trumps the form, under current law.”

The legislation now heads to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.

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