Senator Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, recently introduced legislation to expand Missouri liability laws to out-of-state drivers. Current law requires Missouri drivers to maintain liability insurance, but does not include drivers registered outside of the state.
This weakness in Missouri law came to light after a Jasper County resident was hit by an Oklahoma driver in Joplin. Police could not cite the other driver for not having insurance because the vehicle was registered out-of-state. The local driver did not have comprehensive coverage and did not have the money to repair her damaged vehicle.
“This citizen was doing everything the state asked of her — maintaining insurance, paying property taxes, and keeping her registration current — but she was left helpless because the state does not have laws to protect Missouri citizens from uninsured out-of-state drivers,” said Sen. Nodler. “This is a weakness in Missouri law that must be addressed out of fairness to all law-abiding drivers in the state.”
Specifically, Senate Bill 902 and House Bill 1996 would require non-residents to adhere to the financial responsibility laws of their state of residence, allowing Missouri law enforcement to hold out-of-state drivers responsible for not having auto insurance. All 50 states have state minimum insurance requirements, but the amount of liability insurance required varies from state to state.
If out-of-state drivers are not in compliance with their state’s requirements, they would be guilty of a class C misdemeanor and would have their driving privileges in Missouri suspended. The Missouri Department of Revenue would also notify the state in which the driver resides of the offense.
“This legislation will provide law enforcement officials the ability to take action and will ensure that these uninsured drivers are held responsible,” said Sen. Nodler. “I am hopeful my colleagues in the General Assembly will join Representative Flanigan and me in bringing equity to Missouri’s insurance laws.”
Monday, February 08, 2010
Nodler introduces bill to strengthen auto insurance laws
A bill introduced by Gary Nodler in the Senate and Tom Flanigan in the House is designed to eliminate a loophole in Missouri auto insurance law. The following news release was issued today: