Penn. Proposes Camera System to Catch Auto Insurance Violators

Traffic congested freewayUninsured drivers cruising through Pennsylvania might want to think twice before they do so again.

This week, Gov. Ed Rendell laid out measures he wants to take in order to help close his state’s $472 million transportation budget gap. As part of that plan, the governor has proposed to install cameras along the state’s highways to catch uninsured drivers.

Proposed cameras at toll plazas and highway ramps would log license plates, issue citations and enable the state to notify auto insurance companies if an uninsured car is spotted on the state’s highways, according to Fox affiliate WTFX. The news station also reported the revenue that will be generated by implementing the camera system, developed by the for-profit company InsureNet, would help make up for the $72 million of the state budget that was lost when the federal government banned tolls for Interstate 80.

According to theNewspaper.com, Rendell said the camera plan could generate $75 million or more for the state.

TheNewspaper.com reports that lobbyist Wayne Pettigrew testified before the House of Transportation Committee last March about the system.

“Let’s say my premium is due March 1; today is March 2, I haven’t paid my premium. If I’m driving by a site as of 2 a.m., that site is now going to know through the NLETS database that my insurance is unpaid today,” Pettigrew said, according to theNewspaper.com. “So therefore, today, if I’m driving past that site, it’s going to show me as an uninsured vehicle … Most states there is no grace period for vehicle liability on insurance.”

According to Pettigrew, installation of the system would be of no cost to the state.

The governor also supported installing cameras to capture red-light runners, says TheNewspaper.com. Earlier this month, the state Senate voted in favor of expanding such camera use beyond Philadelphia and into other cities.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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