The Birmingham News carried a piece today titled State drivers short on coverage which states that Alabama is tied with California for second place for the highest number of uninsured drivers.
It goes on to say,
Financial resources sometimes play a role in whether motorists are insured, Richards said. "More motorists are insured in affluent counties, but fewer motorists are insured in the counties that aren't as blessed," the trooper said.
Which brings us back to my original problem with mandatory auto insurance.
1. Some people cannot afford auto insurance. I feel pretty certain that most people would buy auto insurance if they could afford it. No one wants to chance being involved in an accident where they might not only lose their only mode of transportation but might also be badly injured and might badly injure others thereby putting themselves at risk for losing anything and everything they own. But, fact is they cannot afford an extra $50 or $60 or more a month. It does not exist.
2. Fining people without auto insurance a whopping $500 is insane. If they had $500 just laying around then they probably would have had insurance. Not only do they still not have insurance they now have a huge court fine to pay with money they don't have. If they are able to beg and borrow the $500 shouldn't that go towards the insurance coverage that is so important that it is now mandatory? Here is what happens if you can't pay the fine.
3. In response to some of my lte's in those various papers people said, "Use public transportation", but there is no public transportation in rural areas. Others said, "Insurance is cheap" but $50 to $60 is a lot of money if you don't have it.
We have a real problem here with a law that disproportionately affects the impoverished citizens of this state. I won't deny that people need auto insurance. But, if some people can't afford it, it is wrong to impose additional financial burden on them, make it illegal/impossible for them to travel to and from work and other places one needs to travel to carry out day to day life functions, especially in areas where there is no public transportation available.
Just what exactly are poor people suppossed to do?
I am glad to see this blurb in the Birmingham News and I hope that other papers will continue to cover this issue in order to foster discussion about solutions.