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Insurance database

Prosaic, plebian, painful, but practical little idea.
  [vote for,

The law requires drivers to have car insurance. People who get in painfully stupid auto accidents invariably do not have any. Apparently poor folks or those whose premiums are punitively high contract to get insurance for 1 month when they register, then let it lapse.

If I fail to pay my taxes, the Man hunts me down. Why can't there be some sort of tracking system to document who has active car insurance? The insurance industry is by its nature organized - they know very well who is covered, what they drive and where they live. There should be a centralized database at the DMV to which insurance companies report that someone has obtained coverage, then report again that coverage has lapsed. The database would generate a list of drivers who have been without insurance for over a month. The Man would issue a gentle reminder, allow time for protestations, and eventually suspend the driver's license.

The car insurance requirement is obviously regressive, hurting poor folks worse than rich - but this is true for every other auto expense. Bonemeisters: I ask only that you clarify whether you dislike the surveillance aspect or the insurance requirements.

bungston, Aug 08 2003


       This already exists in some states in the US. In Georgia, they do "random checks" of the info you supply when you register your car, and if you're not up to date they will mail you a ticket.
krelnik, Aug 08 2003

       The problem is that you only need insurance to drive a car on public roads, not to own a car or drive it on private property. How do you prove that someone is driving their car on public roads? You either need to send investigators to watch anyone who doesn't have insurance, which would be very expensive and time consuming, or else record all the liscence plates as they drive by some checkpoint and check for insurance coverage. That would probably draw a lot of complaints from privacy advocates.
scad mientist, Aug 08 2003

       I'm generally against giant government databases watching my activity.
Worldgineer, Aug 08 2003

       Baked in UK. Insurers share a database, and the police have one as well.
angel, Aug 08 2003

       //How do you prove that someone is driving their car on public roads?//
That is why, in Georgia, it is tied to when you register your car for license plates. You only need to do this if you are going to drive the car on public roads, so it is a tacit admission that you are doing so.
krelnik, Aug 08 2003

       CA: Proof of Insurance is required each year before car can be re/registered.
thumbwax, Aug 08 2003


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