Tulsa Attorney BlogTulsa Attorney Explains Uninsured Driver Enforcement Flaws on KTUL

Tulsa Traffic Ticket Attorney on KTUL

Tulsa attorney James M. Wirth spoke to KTUL reporter Burt Mummolo about a new law that will use remote cameras to enforce Oklahoma driving without insurance laws.

Starting in 2018, Tulsa drivers suspected of driving without insurance can be cited and arrested based on pictures captured by roadside camera. The automated system undermines one of the oldest and most basic principles of justice – the presumption of innocence.

The new semi-automated ticketing system also represents a troubling change in what is required to initiate an arrest. Until now, insurance verification occurred during traffic stops, after accidents or when vehicles are registered. Officers needed probable cause of a separate offense to initiate a traffic stop.

Now, cameras will target drivers in a few select locations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The new law declares a desk-officers’ observation of those images to be probable cause. Letters or citations will be sent to drivers whose insurance records the state District Attorneys Council cannot locate.

Tulsa drivers who do not respond may face arrest, even if a letter never reached them and even if they had insurance when captured on camera.

traffic ticket lawyer in Tulsa OKThe law allows the system to move forward with as much as 5 percent of the state insurance market not represented in the insurance database. Of an anticipated 20,000 drivers to be cited monthly, as many as a 1,000 could be wrongfully accused of driving without insurance.

The system is further flawed because it will likely target only drivers in low-income neighborhoods, where uninsured driving is more prevalent. Other states, including Texas, have taken more systematic approaches of mailing letters to all drivers statewide whose vehicle records do not match up with insurance records.

Oklahoma uninsured vehicle programDistrict attorneys using the system have a reason to ignore flaws. Their offices stand to gain revenue from fees accused drivers must pay for participating in a new uninsured driver deferred prosecution program supervised by their offices.

We hope Oklahoma courts will reject this heavy-handed law that throws our age-old presumption of innocence out the window. We are on the lookout for Oklahomans wrongly accused of driving without insurance, or arrested when they have not been notified of a relatively insignificant infraction.

No-Cost Consultation: Tulsa Traffic Ticket Lawyer

If you get a notice of violation from the Oklahoma uninsured vehicle program even though you had insurance, we want to know about it.

Call Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681 or send us details using the form at the top of this page. Our Tulsa traffic ticket lawyers can also offer information about any traffic citations in Tulsa, including driving without insurance citations. Call or click today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

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