TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The Oklahoma District Attorney Council is working to keep the state's roadways safe.
Since November 2018, Oklahoma’s Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion Program has had cameras around the state in hopes of cracking down on uninsured drivers. This week, the program is getting renewed with a new company, Rekor Systems, to help expand their reach.
“We had 16 stationary cameras and those were mainly in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas in high traffic intersections,” said Amanda Arnall Couch, UVED Program Director.
According to the District Attorney Council, their goal isn’t to send those caught to court, but instead, help them obtain proper insurance.
As you’re driving past one of these cameras, they’ll scan your license plate. if it comes back uninsured, police lights won’t pop up in your rearview. instead, a letter at your doorstep.
“If it captures one that says, this one there's no insurance tag. Then we go through the process of identifying who that tag registered to and we'll send a letter out,” said Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney. “ It appears it didn’t have insurance, we’d like to talk with you about it.”
UVED is hopeful that drivers will opt into their program, which comes with a $174 fee and a promise to keep the car insured, over potentially needing to go to court and face legal action.
“I believe that there are some situations, especially now with the pandemic and people's income being impacted, that perhaps this is a good time for us to be letting them know,” said Arnall Couch. “Let’s try to get you back on the right track.’”
UVED says that in the two years the program has been in place they’ve had over 24,000 drivers enroll and have seen the number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma decreased by more than 100,000.
Their aspirations with the program go beyond just insurance with this initiative as well. Kunzweiler believes it will help cut down on hit-and-run accidents because a majority of those incidents come from lack of insurance.