Oklahoma HB 2331-Insurance or Bust!

3/17/10

In February 2010, OK-SAFE expressed concerns with HB 2331 by Rep. Steve Martin;

HB 2331, by Rep. Steve Martin, proposes amending Title 47 to allow at-will random insurance verification via an online insurance verification system, without a traffic-stop or accident having occurred first; the bill further gives authority for law enforcement to then seize the vehicle if found to be uninsured.
Observation or verification can be conducted from a fixed location, i.e. from the roadside, or from a moving patrol car.

Oklahoma utilizes an online insurance verification system, which may or may not be accurate.

The Insurance Research Council reports;

In Oklahoma where a law required the online verification system to be in place in July 2008, tests show that the system, while operational, is accurate only 60 percent of the time, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The system is only able to verify auto coverage from some insurance companies but not others since a few auto insurance companies have not yet entered their information. Law enforcement officials and the state’s tag agents are therefore being told not to rely on the information it provides. http://www.scribd.com/doc/27252909/Compulsory-Auto-Insurance

OK-SAFE points out that the license plate scanning technology, commonly known as ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) is not being well received by Oklahoma residents;

OKLAHOMA SAYS NO BIG BROTHER

Fox23News in Tulsa, OK recently ran a couple of stories covering the growing use of remote camera technology, and a poll of 4,000 viewers after the 2/17/10 airing found that 73% of viewers opposed this use of cameras.

Given that both the Oklahoma Dept of Public Safety and the Governor issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for ALPR cameras, this bill seems to be a little suspect.

HB 2331, allowing for random verification of insurance coverage and confiscation of private property, smacks more of revenue generation for both the insurance industry and a cash strapped state, than a public safety issue. OK-SAFE, while not endorsing driving uninsured, believes that the confiscation of private property by government for failure to purchase a product is not a move to be considered lightly; HB 2331 is a seriously flawed bill.
OK-SAFE concludes.
more at; http://www.ok-safe.com/Website/Default.aspx?id=5&pageid=46

Gov. Brad Henry’s Budget Proposal for FY 2011 which was unveiled at the State of the State address proposes;

Automated Enforcement of Vehicle Insurance

The Governor’s budget proposes that the State of Oklahoma better protect Oklahomans from uninsured motorists by increasing drivers’ compliance with compulsory vehicle insurance laws through implementation of an automated enforcement system. An automated enforcement system will increase the efficiency of the current Oklahoma law enforcement, enable equal enforcement of in-state and out-of-state violators and reduce costs to existing vehicle liability policyholders. An automated system also eliminates insurance fraud by providing instant insurance verification.

The automated system can be implemented at no cost to the state. It is estimated that the state will collect $95 million in revenues from this program.

Pg A-5
On Feb 5th
Sean Murphy, Associated Press reported on Feb 5th that;

During a speech to newspaper publishers from across the state, Henry said without new sources of revenue, the state agencies and the overall economy will face “irreparable damage.”
Henry also has proposed, among other things, a one-year moratorium on select tax credits, increasing fees for various state services, automated enforcement of vehicle insurance and a $200 million transportation bond issue.  Read more

Impossible! 

Bob Feldmon from Nevada wrote a letter to the Governor’s staff refuting that the state would make 100 million in revenue from the heavily lobbied InsureNet proposal for an automatic system of insurance verification that uses the fixed ALPR “scanners”.

Mr. Feldmon is qualified to speak on this issue. He has;

“spent 36 years with insurance enforcement in Nevada and chaired the governor’s SAGE Commission Task Force on DMV”

Mr. Feldmon states;

“we took a conservative approach, estimating an additional $3.5 million in additional annual revenue. IMPOSSIBLE TO COLLECT AN ADDITIONAL $100 MILLION at the current registered vehicle count”

He gives the facts and figures to show exactly how he arrived at the 3.5 million estimates. Feldmon notes that there are approximately 2.3 million registered vehicles in the state of Nevada. Oklahoma has almost 2.5 million licensed drivers and close to 3.8 million registered vehicles listed as of 2007, the latest set of statistics I was able to locate.

The two states are certain to charge fees and taxes differently and Oklahoma has over a million more registered vehicles than NV according to the 2007 figures, but the estimate of 95 million in revenue that Gov. Henry asserts still seems unusually high.

In the Oklahoma’s Governor’s Budget Proposal, on page A 5 it says that the automated insurance verification will not cost the state anything. That does not meant it is FREE. No one is donating high tech equipment out of the goodness of their heart.

The Las Vegas Review
February 22, 2010

InsureNet, a Chicago-based company, has offered to pay the state $30 million up front for the privilege of setting up scanners and providing the necessary software to nail drivers without insurance. The company would keep a yet-to-be-determined percentage of the fines paid.
http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=165492&type=propertycasualty

Feldmon reports that in 2008 the state of Nevada paid nearly 400,000.00 in overtime in order to rewrite their antiquated system of insurance verification. Mr. Feldmon expresses his confidence in the state’s system and says that it will increase revenue and save Nevada money in labor costs. InsureNet, he says has no systems in operation yet, their plan is impractical and would be extremely complicated as well as harmful to tourism to cite out of state driver. Mr. Feldmon adds that there are privacy concerns with the cameras as well.

These assertions seem to mirror the situation in Oklahoma except that to my knowledge, no one is proposing to impound the vehicles of owners cited for lack of insurance verification as HB 2331 by Steve Martin proposes to do in our state.

The bill, as introduced, required
officers to seize the vehicle if a driver had not complied with the Compulsory Insurance law.

Section 7-605

Upon issuing a citation under this paragraph, the law enforcement officer issuing the citation shall seize the vehicle being operated by the person

HB 2331 was amended by committee substitute on Feb.25 2010. The word “shall” was replaced by “may“.

The Appropriations and Budget Committee then voted unanimously in favor of advancing the bill on to the House.

A complete listing of Oklahoma House members including District, party and phone numbers can be found here

Emails for the Appropriations and Budget Committee Members who voted to pass HB 2331;

John Auffet,
johnauffet@okhouse.gov

Dale DeWitt,
daledewitt@okhouse.gov

Chuck Hoskin,
chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov

Ken Miller,
kenmiller@okhouse.gov

John Carey, johncarey@okhouse.gov

Joe Dorman,
joedorman@okhouse.gov

Mike Jackson,
mikejackson@okhouse.gov

Ron Peters,
ronpeters@okhouse.gov

Doug Cox, dougcox@okhouse.gov

Larry Glenn,
larryglenn@okhouse.gov

Guy Liebmann,
guyliebmann@okhouse.gov

Randy Terrill
randyterrill@okhouse.gov
(Who told a group of Republicans that he thought this was a terrible bill only a couple of weeks ago and that innocent people would have their vehicles taken because the system is not extremely accurate!)

Lee Denney,
leedenney@okhouse.gov

Hickman,
jwhickman@okhouse.gov

Scott Martin, scott.martin@okhouse.gov

Watson, weldon.watson@okhouse.gov

On March 8th the bill was voted on in the House. 87 Oklahoma Representatives voted in favor of HB 2331 and only 8 against it. Here is the roll call

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma motorists who drive without insurance could have their vehicles impounded under a bill approved in the Oklahoma House.

The House voted 87-8 on Monday for House Bill 2331 by Bartlesville Republican Rep. Steve Martin.

[. . ]Some members expressed concern about the accuracy of the new verification system and the fate of passengers in the vehicle, especially children.

http://www.koco.com/politics/22777237/detail.html

HB 2331 still has to make it through the Senate. In order to stop that from happening we need to take our concerns to them. The Senate Directory

I am offended that this is being pushed so hard by InsurNets infamous lobbyists who are promising states struggling with budget shortfalls unbelievable amounts of money. Giving the expensive equipment at no charge but they would be getting a “percentage in return”

I am offended that even though the system is admittedly not perfect, that our legislators would still vote yes for a bill that will take property from people unjustly.

I know that ALPR systems are meant to be and ready to be utilized by the fusion centers (more on that later) I am appalled that our representatives thinks that it’s ok to track our where bouts as they wish and there are no rules established for retaining that data. If we are doing nothing wrong there is no cause to surveil us.

I am disgusted that this is being promoted as a way to get uninsured drivers off of the road when really it is so much more than that.

And after all of this is said and done, if you are victimized by an uninsured driver-this system does nothing to make that right. They take the property and the fines and you get the bill for any damages done to you or your property. If the system glitches and you are without you papers-you get your property taken too! You will have to go through the hassle of sorting all of that out which will take money, time and aggravation.

So we have a bigger, more powerful government that has a vested interest in bringing in as much money as they possibly can, they have your personal information which in the post 9 11 world means that now rather than sharing on a “need to know” basis they now have a “responsibly to share” it.

The gun owners in Nevada have been up in arms over the scheme due to the fact that their gun registration is tied to their vehicle registration;

Nevada Gun Owners;

The legislature is considering a means of “revenue enhancement” that would make privacy for CCW holders a huge problem. This is the exact same bill that was rejected by that was rejected by the legislature last year.

InsureNet is lobbying for this bill so they can install 1,000’s of camera or “scanners” on nearly all of Nevada’s public roads. If it passes it would allow InsureNet, to photograph/scan every license plate on our roads. This data would be scanned and analyzed by InsureNet for the purpose of catching uninsured motorists. It’s a nice premise but it comes with some serious problems.

The problem is, in Nevada, every CCW holder has essentially given up his/her right to privacy. The minute you ask the government for “permission” to lawfully carry concealed, your license plate and vehicle registration is noted as a CCW holder. In other words, those who have jumped through the hoops of paying for the privilege to carry a lawful firearm—these lawful gun owners would be captured by an unaccountable, out of state corporate entities database! We constantly hear of databases being hacked. Do you understand the ramifications of this bill? Can you see the possibility for misuse? Gun owners did not create the spending problem at the state level. And gun owners should not have to fear privacy violations by an out-of-state corporation just because of being a CCW holder.
When the Nevada state legislature did not pass this bill last year, they were thinking clearly. They are not thinking clearly now. They are seeing dollars signs and they are NOT thinking of you or your CCW. Do NOT allow them to pass this bill that would make it too easy for the rights of law abiding gun owners like you to be violated.

Contact your representatives immediately. Tell them “NO to InsureNet“. Tell them NO to scanning our license plate

http://www.gonv.org/index.htm

One response to “Oklahoma HB 2331-Insurance or Bust!

  1. Don Birkholz

    If an indigent household is making 700$ per month and has to spend that 700$ for auto insurance, how will that household pay its rent or food? Stupid me, they can go on food stamps for their food. A food stampsurvey, cone at my request by the Montana DPHHS, showed that in Billings, NT, in October of 2004, 12 of the 96 food stamp applicants said auto insurance was a reason for needing food stamps. Go to http://www.foodstampstudy.com

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