Checkpoint Bill Passes Senate Committee in Louisiana

A piece of legislation in Louisiana streamlining publicity procedures for all motor vehicle checkpoints—including insurance, sticker and seat-belt stops—received its first support from a Senate committee today and moved to another committee for further consideration.

Currently, authorities are required to post public notices whenever they host stops checking for proof of insurance and use of seat belts. The pending legislation would expand those publicity requirements to include checkpoints for motor vehicle inspection stickers.

HB 713, was passed by senators in the Senate Transportation, Highway and Public Works committee Wednesday, according to Julie Silva, committee secretary. The amended version of that bill was sent to the Senate Finance Committee.

In a previous version of the bill, authorities would have had to publicize stops verifying seat-belt use and proof of insurance with radio or television and newspaper announcements that list the time, location and duration of the checkpoint.

Under the bill’s latest version, committee members excluded requirements that the publicity appear in media outlets. Also, advance warnings are required on roadways, including signs and flares, and only general locations, not specific addresses, of checkpoints will be disclosed.

Advance notices give the uninsured time to get minimally covered to avoid citations at checkpoints for lacking coverage. A practical option for those motorists is to try to find no down payment car insurance that is quickly attainable because it doesn’t require up-front lump sum payments.

The Senate Finance Committee will likely confirm the amended version of the bill following the legislation’s first fiscal analysis released last week. That analysis showed that the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducts about 561 checkpoints a year. Based on ad cost estimates, DPS expenditures for expanding checkpoint publicity to include sticker stops will increase by $39,270 for newspaper ads, $19,635 for radio ads and $280,500 for television ads.

Although the state cannot determine the number of checkpoints conducted annually by local law enforcement, DPS estimates put the cost of publicizing each checkpoint at $105 for newspaper and radio ads and $570 for newspaper and television ads, according to fiscal analyst Alan Boxberger.

Members of the Senate Transportation, Highway and Public Works committee excluding the media requirement said it was an unneeded expense on police departments. House Representatives voted 61-28 in favor of the bill on April 3.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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