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John Meiners

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5/29/08  Another Boomer's 2 cents on uninsured drivers ...
I'm speculating here and would love for a traffic cop to contribute some information to either refute my opinion or verify it.
I, too, have been hit by uninsured motorists, twice.  Lucky for me, the damage was minimal.  It would have been great, though, if the other drivers' insurance had paid for it.  Interestingly, neither driver even had a driver's license.  My guess is there are so many uninsured motorists because there are so many unlicensed drivers.
The police can't even issue a traffic ticket to many drivers because they don't have a license or any identification.  It's such a hassle to deal with them that they often just let them go on their way.  One illegal acquaintance told me he was stopped for speeding two times on the way to Houston (in one day) and nothing happened to him.  He has a shiny late model pickup truck with Texas plates but no drivers license and no insurance.
You know illegals don't have valid driver's licenses, yet they drive their vehicles on our streets every day.  They have families, jobs, apartments and are otherwise law abiding residents.  (I know they are here illegally, but besides that they are law abiding. I would bet most would be happy to purchase not only liability insurance but collision and comprehensive coverage, as well.  There are tens of thousands of them here in North Texas, millions throughout the state.  I'm surprised the insurance companies are not lobbying for this.
If illegal residents can't get a valid Texas drivers license, how can they get insurance?  If they don't have a SSN, how can they get insurance?
It seems to me this uninsured motorist  issue could be greatly mitigated and traffic laws could be much better enforced if all Texas drivers had valid driver's licenses and people could get liability insurance without an SSN.
The state of Texas should provide some kind of a non-resident or temporary license to these people.  They are here to stay, that's a fact. They're not going anywhere, especially back home anytime soon.   We must face it that this is a mass migration and not some temporary immigration phenomenon.  We must deal with it realistically, the sooner we do the sooner we will get this problem under control.
A drivers license would also provide these people with a bona fide ID card and that would be great for them and for law enforcement - not to mention merchants, banks, schools and hospitals.
I know this DL thing is controversial, thinking of Hillary Clinton's DL statement flak in NY, but it's the only solution.  Confiscating their vehicles causes big time hardship on families and doesn't solve the problem.  I would sayit could even cause otherwise law abiding people to turn to petty crime or other unsavory means to get another vehicle so they can work or, just to pay their rent. 
I agree that there should be enforcement of the uninsured motorist laws and don't have a problem with towing if it can be proved in a radio call that the offender was indeed uninsured and didn't just neglect to put their proof of insurance card in the glove box.
But until everyone has an opportunity and access to insurance, it seems like a misguided policy that will be painfully difficult and expensive to fairly carry out and will end up doing far more harm than good.
Thanks for your diligence and, I don't always agree with you, but I really appreciate you.
John Meiners





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8