Insurance verification bill advances

Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- State Rep. Johnny Guinn, R-Jennings, asks a question Tuesday about state drivers' licenses during a House committee's discussion of House Bill 71, which would require officers making a traffic stop to verify that the driver has of auto insurance. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU -- State Rep. Johnny Guinn, R-Jennings, asks a question Tuesday about state drivers' licenses during a House committee's discussion of House Bill 71, which would require officers making a traffic stop to verify that the driver has of auto insurance.

Law officers making a traffic stop would be required to verify that the driver has automobile insurance if their department has the computer capability to run such checks, under a proposal headed to the full House of Representatives for debate.

State Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton, said his House Bill 71 was aimed at reducing the rate of uninsured motorists on state highways. Burns said he’s been told that 20 percent of drivers don’t maintain insurance coverage.

HB71 moves to the House floor after the state House Transportation committee approved it with a 9-5 vote Tuesday.

Burns said he added the technological exception because many smaller law enforcement agencies may not have the computer equipment to conduct insurance checks.