Tennessee Legislation Cracks Down on Uninsured Drivers

Accidents are a nasty business. Drivers and families thus affected  are entitled to compensation for damages, injuries, and even death. By driving uninsured, motorists deny this benefit to others. This is why the majority of all states require drivers to carry auto insurance by law, while the others require proof of financial responsibility.

Tennessee’s 1977 law states, “Evidence needed to comply with the law includes documentation such as an insurance card, binder or declaration page of a policy from an insurance company authorized to do business in Tennessee, stating that a policy of insurance meeting the requirements of the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977 has been issued; or a certificate from the Department of Safety noting that a cash deposit or bond has been posted in the amount required by the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977. . .” More on that, here.

HB 2466 is a bill that requires officers of the law to arrest drivers involved in serious car accidents (involving serious injury or death) if they fail to provide proof of financial responsibility or a driver’s license. Harsher consequences are intended to deter people from failing to carry insurance, and the threat of being arrested on the spot is very real.

Senator Andy Berke says, “We have a problem with uninsured drivers in Tennessee. When someone is in a serious accident, causes damage, but has no driver’s license and no insurance, there should be ramifications.”

For more information on Tennessee’s current auto insurance mandates, please visit our website.

A Bit of History

The law came about as a product of an accident that happened in Nashville. A man was killed and his daughter injured on a motorcycle by another driver who didn’t see them and switched lanes.

The Timesfreepress states, “The driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license or insurance, was given only a citation for driving without a license, a misdemeanor. He also was suspected of being in the country illegally, but police weren’t able to determine whether that was true because officers only can check someone’s legal status once the person is arrested.”

Were HB 2466 to have been in place, the scenario would have played out very differently. It would have ended with the at-fault driver going directly to jail in addition to the misdemeanor. The bill met little opposition in Congress, and was soon adopted. It has gone into effect as of July 1, 2012.

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