Car insurance law hits campus

According to the police, no proof is the same as none at all. Effective Nov. 8, $150 on top of any other citations will be given at traffic stops if the driver cannot produce proof of insurance. Carrying that little card in the car could save a bit of money should you be pulled over.

The newest law is mandatory proof of insurance. The mandatory proof law is listed as a “correctable citation,” meaning that if a charged person can bring in an insurance card to the police station within seven days of being cited, the no-proof ticket will be dismissed.

Last week, 25 percent of the people pulled over on campus were fined for no proof of insurance.

The week before that, citations given for no proof of insurance were issued for 20 out of 46 traffic stops on campus, an additional $3,000 in charges.

“That happened to my friend. He got pulled over,” science and technology student Julian Rojas said. “[The law] is good. You never know what’s going to happen. There’s crazy people out there.”

“Seven days to go there is not too bad. It’s not unrealistic,” nursing student Meri Clare said.

On Nov. 8 this year, the State Supreme Court set the bail schedule for no proof at $150 under Alaska Statute 28.22.019.

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But, University Police Department Sgt. Theresa Gregg said, a person who did not have insurance at the time of being cited cannot have their ticket dismissed for going out later to purchase insurance. The police check the effective dates on the card to make sure the motorist was covered at the time of the traffic stop.

“[Buying insurance after the fact] is a wonderful thing for later in case you get into an accident, but you’re still not in compliance with the law.”

About a third to one half of those people do not have insurance, Gregg said of the tickets she’s been writing for no proof. “They’re realizing it’s a significant thing whereas before nothing happened to them.”

“I think you should have insurance,” nursing student Anne Burns said. “Because I’m screwed if you don’t. It makes everyone pay more.”

The mandatory proof law is the newest, but not the only reason to purchase insurance. If a person gets into an accident without insurance, regardless of fault, they are issued an SR-22, which makes insurance rates much more expensive than they would be normally.

“That’s why UIM [uninsured motorist] is so high on your insurance – because of these people,” Gregg said.

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