Monday, October 12, 2015


Most states of the union require and strictly enforce the mandate that people provide liability insurance before placing their vehicles on the public roadways. It seems simple enough to follow the action that people who drive on Texas highways should be responsible enough to protect their fellow citizen and fellow drivers against the likelihood that sooner or later they, or their property, would be damaged by the negligence of another driver. Unfortunately, Texas has simply winked at the problem and instead of enforcing or passing a simple mandate to be enforced by withholding license plates or driver’s license of those not insured have gone on to try gimmick after gimmick — none of which has worked.  

More unfortunately, in the past few years the Legislature has enacted a program which makes the situation significantly worse. The Legislature has repeatedly succumbed to the insurance lobbyists who do not want mandatory liability coverage because then every time an injured driver faces a jury, the jury will know that more than likely they are reaching into the pocket of an insurance company not the poor widowed defendant that stands before the jury box. Wholly forgotten in this process is the widowed lady who is probably driving the last vehicle she will ever be able to afford, and who has her vehicle and maybe her body completely impaired by a thoughtless, uncaring, uninsured driver.

The recent folly by the Legislature involves another bit of hypocrisy with the brag of passing no new taxes. Not only is it a lie, it’s most hypocritical. The Legislature, in an effort to put more money in the pot, enacted a surcharge system whereby you are fined for having paid a fine. It was first thought of as a sly system of getting into the pocket of irresponsible drivers without being subjected to the criticism of increasing the taxes. Unfortunately, it not only has not worked, it has backfired and made our highways much more unsafe for you if you are a responsible driver.

Unfortunately, Texas is blessed with too many poor folks. If they are apprehended, ticketed and have to pay a fine, too often they are saddled with growing surcharges which many of them can ill afford. Rather than paying the surcharges, many of these folks (and it appears to be a growing number) simply choose to run the risk of being stopped and arrested for not having a driver’s license and for not having liability insurance. 

You see, you can’t get liability insurance unless you are a licensed driver in Texas. Recent studies and examiners of the project have learned there is an alarming escalation in the number of people choosing to drive not only without insurance but also without a valid driver’s license. The Legislature has even relaxed the penalties for driving without a license. Previously, a patrolman would stop a car, and if the driver had no valid driver’s license they were arrested —because it would have been an additional violation of the law for them to simply continue driving without the license.  Now, because of legislative action, unlicensed drivers are being merely ticketed and sent on their way.

Inaction by the Legislature to address this problem is costing you money, making our roads unsafe, and rewarding scofflaws who choose to ignore any responsibility for protecting their fellow drivers on the Texas roadways.

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