Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign a fee hike on uninsured drivers. The measure, by Baton Rouge Representative Barry Ivey, increases fees for the reinstatement of driving privileges for those caught driving uninsured.
Ivey says a portion of the expected $53 million from the increased fines will help establish an uninsured driver's database.
"My bill is the funding mechanism for creating the real time database or, what we call, the Insurance Verification System. So that's the intent of the bill, that's the inspiration of the bill," he explained.
The fee increase will fund the Insurance Verification System and also state trooper salaries. Ivey hopes the new penalties will deter motorists from driving uninsured. He thinks that one of the problems contributing to the number of uninsured drivers is the old fee structure.
"There are those who realize that paying the penalties for driving uninsured is much cheaper than paying for the insurance," according to Ivey. "I believe that this bill would also help push those people in the direction of actually paying for insurance instead of just going ahead a paying for the penalties."
Governor Jindal's office says he intends to sign the bill into law.
Critics of the bill say this will adversely effect the poor. But Ivey says this legislation actually protects the poor who are paying for insurance.
"There are many out there who can only afford the minimum coverage. And when they get hit by an uninsured motorist, it can be devastating to their family if it totals their car or things like that."