[R74] The Arnold Account: Protecting Hoosier drivers (5/30/2013 - 5/31/2013)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Start Date: 5/30/2013 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 5/31/2013 End Time: 11:59 PM
Protecting Hoosier drivers

Summer weather has finally arrived in Indiana, making my travels throughout the district even more enjoyable. Nothing beats being in the outdoors with my family, going fishing with my boys or playing ball. 

I was driving recently and realized I had forgotten to put my new insurance card in my wallet, which is a necessary driving accompaniment since Indiana requires Hoosier residents to have insurance for their vehicle. Luckily, we passed legislation this past session that makes having proof of insurance easier for Hoosiers and gives responsible drivers more protection from those who are uninsured. 

If you are like me, you use your phone for much more than making calls. Over the past several years, many people have decided to go paperless and maintain important documents on their cell phones. Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 620 recognizes these lifestyle changes by allowing people to show proof of insurance to an officer as an image on a smart phone or other telecommunication device. 

Along with making proof of insurance easier for Hoosiers, SEA 620 gives drivers with insurance more protection from the likelihood of being in an accident with an uninsured driver. The law now requires insurance companies to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 10 days if a driver with a SR-22 Proof of Future Financial Responsibility form drops their insurance coverage. Before this law, the BMV had no way of knowing if a problem driver decided not to keep their insurance. 

SEA 620 goes on to provide a protection for those drivers that have followed the law by obtaining insurance, but through no fault of their own, are operating a vehicle that is not insured. To address the concern that the BMV would unfairly suspended the licenses of those whose insurance information for whatever reason lapsed, this bill provides additional avenues for these people to contest the suspension. As a sponsor of the bill, I wanted to make sure we were giving everyone a fair shake when it comes to proving they have insurance.  

Many of you will be doing lots of driving this summer, whether it is to sports fields, going on a summer vacation or driving through the community. It’s construction season, so be careful in construction zones and mind the reduced speed limit. No one in our district wants to be a part of an accident; we can all do our part by sharing the road with workers, motorcyclists and bikers. I hope everyone has a chance to get outside and enjoy some of the great weather we have been having. The arrival of June brings so many opportunities for fun times, so have a blast and be safe.   

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties. Rep. Arnold serves as Vice Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and also serves on the Education Committee, Roads and Transportation Committee as well as the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee.