STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — At a public safety and corrections committee earlier this month, Steuben County District Attorney, Brooks Baker, put forth an extension to the Traffic Diversion Program for uninsured drivers.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6% of drivers were uninsured in 2019.
The Steuben County Traffic Diversion Program is designed to enable traffic ticket offenders to resolve their current vehicle and traffic tickets quickly and easily. Baker is now considering a second program targeted at reducing the number of uninsured drivers on the road. It will do this through 10 to 12 license plate readers.
“If a plate is checked against DMV records and if it turns out that the vehicle is unregistered and uninsured, a notice will be sent in and flagged for law enforcement,” said Baker. “We will confirm that it is in fact the vehicle in violation and they would be sent a notice saying, ‘Hey look, your vehicle is uninsured. That’s a violation of the law.’ That violation of law carries with it the possibility of license suspension, a $500 civil penalty, as well as the penalty to fill the ticket. Also, you are uninsured which is unsafe and puts all the rest of us at risk.”
The offender would then have the choice of attending an educational class on insurance and registration where the ticket would be waived. The cost of the program would be half of the cost to face the civil penalty and ticket. Baker said he is not sure when it would go into effect, but it could be soon.
“I would expect it’ll take us several months to be in a position to put this into effect,” said Baker. “If we’re in a position to do it, we’re working with our county attorney or legislature to make sure what we do is lawful and maximizes public safety.”