KPD e-News Release: New K.P.D. Policy Ups the Ante for Motorists Who Continue to Violate State Law by Driving Uninsured Vehicles

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: New K.P.D. Policy Ups the Ante for Motorists Who Continue to Violate State Law by Driving Uninsured Vehicles
DATE: March 15, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Kingsport Police Department has a new policy in effect in hopes of deterring those who continue to violate state law by driving uninsured vehicles. This policy, in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 55-12-139, authorizes Kingsport Police Officers to tow vehicles on the spot for violations of the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law.

The intent of this policy is to deter drivers from driving uninsured vehicles in the City of Kingsport and encourage compliance with Tennessee State Law. This policy also equips K.P.D. Officers with an extremely useful tool to at least temporarily take away the opportunity for the offense to continue by promptly removing the vehicle in violation from the road.

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), an independent nonprofit research organization supported by leading property and casualty insurance companies, 12.6% of motorists nationwide, or approximately 1 in 8 drivers, are uninsured. IRC research indicated that the number of uninsured motorists in the State of Tennessee is 20.1%, or roughly 1 in 5 drivers, which is significantly higher than the national average.

The Tennessee State Financial Responsibility Law (TCA 55-12-139) requires all motorists to provide “evidence of financial responsibility” (proof of insurance) upon request from a law enforcement officer when the driver of a vehicle is stopped for a traffic offense or the vehicle in question is involved in a collision.

A basic violation of the Financial Responsibility Law is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $300. If a driver in violation of the Financial Responsibility Law misrepresents having insurance that they know to be invalid, the offense is increased to a Class A Misdemeanor.

The Class A Misdemeanor enhancement is also applicable whenever the uninsured motorist is the individual at fault in a motor vehicle collision that results in bodily injury or death of another person. A Class A Misdemeanor is an arrestable offense, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and significantly higher fines and court costs.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

One thought on “KPD e-News Release: New K.P.D. Policy Ups the Ante for Motorists Who Continue to Violate State Law by Driving Uninsured Vehicles

  1. Outstanding! I pay a small fortune Uninsured Motorist coverage to protect myself from these people. I support getting them off the road. Insurance companies should have to report to police or the DMV when someone cancels their insurance. That should in turn make their vehicle tags invalid and subject to immediate impoundment.

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