Big Brother Helps Oklahoma’s Uninsured Problem

In 2017, Oklahoma passed legislation for a program to combat uninsured drivers. Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma is one of the worst states in the nation, showing a 50% chance of a two vehicle accident involving one uninsured motorist. The law in Oklahoma requires the minimum of all drivers to have liability insurance of 25/50/25. And in our state, over 600,000 motorists aren’t in compliance. This program is in place now to help the costly consequences of uninsured driving.

What is UVED?

UVED stands for The Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion Program. It is the first of its kind in the U.S. The program UVED will use “Automatic License Plate Readers” (ALPR), which will canvass Oklahoma roadways to capture and identify license plates of uninsured vehicles. These cameras will be both fixed AND mobile. Remember the new license plates with the Scissortail Flycatcher being introduced in Oklahoma? Those license plates were designed to include technology that allows them to be scanned by these cameras. These cameras take that information and then run it through a database to show if the vehicle is currently insured.

Who Regulates?

All insurers are in the database and while the Insurance Commission is assisting in this program, the actual regulator is the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Council. This decision was made to not burden the already busy law enforcement agencies in the state.

How Will It Work?

This program did not cost the state of Oklahoma anything to implement. In the past, when an uninsured motorist was caught by law enforcement, a fine of $250 was issued and possible criminal charges could have followed in certain circumstances. With this program, when a license plate that has been scanned, has come back as non compliant, a notice is sent from DAC to respond and it issues a $174 fee. The driver will then have to become insured to avoid any future charges. The fine is less than it was with law enforcement agencies. Some of that fee will go to the company who designed the system to pay for the cameras, etc.

Once the plate is scanned, unless it is flagged, the plate number will be flushed out of system. The plate numbers are not to be shared.

The program is in place now. Perhaps later, we will report its success. The $9 million in costs for innocent drivers with damage and injury is something that needed to be addressed.