New Utah Law Instructs Cops To Seize Uninsured Vehicles

from the good-intentions,-bad-law dept

Does the government really even need excuses to seize the assets of its citizens, especially for relatively minor crimes? Apparently it does, at least according to the state of Utah.

A new law that went into effect on Jan. 1 changes the wording and adds provisions to a law that has been in effect since 2008 allowing officers to impound a vehicle that isn’t insured. The crucial verb that was changed, raising sides between those in favor and those opposed to the revised law, is the shift from the law previously stating that an officer “may” seize a vehicle without warrant if it’s being operated without insurance to the fact that now an officer “shall” seize said vehicle.
The wording change makes it mandatory. What was always an option is now expressly a command. The senator behind the new law feels this is necessary despite uninsured drivers really not being much of a problem in his home state.
Even though the sponsor of SB 72, Sen. Lyle Hillyard, estimates Utah’s current rate of uninsured drivers at 3 percent, much less than the national average of 12.6 percent, he says it's still enough of a problem to address.
No problem is too small. That's your government at work, Utah citizens. Will this new law lead to the sort of abuse witnessed in other areas of the country? Well, maybe. The low uninsured driver rate is one of the few things preventing this from becoming the full-blown, corrupt mess it is in other jurisdictions. The other factor is the restrictive language in the law, which provides for a surprising amount of protections for the public.

Officers are supposed to make a "reasonable, independent effort" to verify the vehicle is uninsured before seizing it. This means they can't simply seize it because the driver isn't carrying an insurance card. The claimed insurance company will need to be contacted before the vehicle can be seized, along with the owner of the vehicle (if said owner isn't the one driving). The amendment also authorizes an account for funds to be set aside to repay towing and storage charges incurred for vehicles wrongly impounded. (Of course, this requires the affected person to prove that the vehicle was wrongly impounded, but hey, at least there's some sort of due process, even if it occurs after the vehicle has already been seized.)

That's the good news. The bad news is that it gives law enforcement yet another way to take property away from citizens. It encourages trolling for seizures by turning the Uninsured Motorist database into a shopping list.

Then there's this. What if the driver's insurance agent isn't available at the time of the incident?
Another commenter unhappy with the new law said how she had been pulled over previously and had shown up as being uninsured. Because it was Saturday, the officer couldn’t reach her insurance agent but was kind enough to let her go with a warning. By the new wording in the law, unless there is reason to believe the woman’s safety is in question, the officer “shall seize” her vehicle.
There's still no due process involved (pre-seizure) and vehicles are automatically deemed to be "guilty" of being driven without insurance. As far as criminal acts go, driving without insurance is on the low end of the spectrum, but the consequences are on par with drug trafficking or fraud.

Sure, every driver should have insurance, but this isn't a perfect world. There are very few good reasons why someone might drive without insurance, but the real world sometimes gets in the way. Payments might be missed and the reinstatement amount might be too high to pay in a lump sum. Some people are simply uninsurable due to their driving record -- or even solely because of their credit record.

This law seems about as close to abuse-proof as any asset forfeiture law, but it still has several problems, not the least of which is the demand that vehicles be seized (rather than left to officer discretion) and the reliance on law enforcement to carry through on "reasonable, independent verification." The nod to the "safety" of those whose vehicles can be seized ultimately means nothing. Past incidents have shown officers are more than willing to seize vehicles and leave drivers stranded on the side of the road. "Public safety" is generally invoked to assist in civil liberties violations -- like skirting warrant requirements or seizing recording devices -- not to actually ensure the "public" is any "safer."

As with any law that authorizes the seizure of property by the government, there's a potential for abuse. For a state with such a low uninsured driver rate, this law is overkill.

UPDATE: Eric Holder recently announced decision to eliminate states' participation in asset forfeiture programs is a move forward -- one that closes a loophole used by law enforcement agencies to bypass states' restrictions on seizures. However, it will have no effect on this program as this doesn't involve federal participation. So, there's still significant room for abuse in many states' programs, ones that will need to be closed at the local level.

Filed Under: cars, insurance, seizures, uninsured vehicles, utah


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 2:50pm

    Wait, I don't think they are seizing the car in the same way they're doing it through forfeiture laws. I was once caught driving without insurance (stupid of me of course), and they towed my car. Tow truck driver gave me a ride to the lot where I got a rental car and went and fixed my insurance problem. I had my car back the same afternoon. It sucked having to pay the impound fee (and of course they only took cash), but they didn't try to steal my car.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 2:50pm

    The UK has a similar law, but with a period allowed for the owner to obtain insurance, and pay pound fees. However, if the vehicle is not redeemed, it is crushed, so there is no temptation for the police to use the law to obtain vehicles for themselves.

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  • identicon
    bob, 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:00pm

    I wouldn't read into this as much as you do.

    I don't think this is for seizing cars I think it is meant more as a way to stop police from impounding a car and then the motorist claiming the officer was racist in how he decided to impound car 1 but let car 2 go.

    if the impounding is for everyone then we are all equal right? :P

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    • identicon
      Loulou, 24 Jan 2015 @ 2:55pm

      Re: I wouldn't read into this as much as you do.

      Right, we are all slaves

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    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:44pm

      Re: I wouldn't read into this as much as you do.

      > if the impounding is for everyone then we are all equal right?

      Not really. Most of the people driving without insurance are illegals because they can't get insurance (or drivers licenses, in many cases), so the result of a law like this will be that the majority of seized vehicles will be from illegals, which will whip the typical grievance groups up into a frenzy, and the law will most likely either be repealed or gutted, as it was in California.

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  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:11pm

    Seizure or impound?

    As other commenters have noted, I wonder if they're really talking about seizure. In my state, if you get stopped and aren't insured, your car gets impounded, not seized. You get your car back when you get insurance, pay the ticket, and pay the impound fee.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:25pm

    Let's not forget that Utah police love participating in the painful practice of forced catheterization, so anyone with "shy bladder syndrome" might be advised to avoid that state.

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    • identicon
      Citizen Smith, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:08am

      Re: Laws, laws, and more laws (for you and me, not the overlords)

      Avoid this state. It is officially predatory. I was born here, decades ago, and currently live here (I am working on changing that).

      Predatory laws. Disrespectfully killer kops. A phony religiion that talks about separation of church and state and yet has a 50 foot plastic national flag on state in their conference hall and, oh yes, asks for 10% of your gross income. The church founder/prophet loved to get drunk and fight (well, they didn't have tv to placate the masses, then), not to mention 40 wives. The CIA is known to use the missionary scam as cover for their activities of snooping (this is not specultation, but admitted fact).

      This place is a joke, and a bad one at that. (But the mountains are nice.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:44pm

    Which?

    Uninsured vehicles? or Uninsured drivers?

    There's a very specific difference there, which a lot of people don't really get.

    Insurance companies love to double-dip too... by charging you for both.

    An insured vehicle suggests that anyone driving that vehicle is covered by insurance. This generally applies to people who don't otherwise have their own insurance.

    An insured driver can drive any vehicle, and is insured (even if the vehicle isn't).

    It shouldn't be necessary to purchase insurance for both - but it seems states like to pass laws to make the former a requirement, while insurance companies focus on the latter (rightly so - the person driving is generally the measure of risk, not the vehicle by itself).

    I recently got a letter from CA DMV telling me that a vehicle I recently registered is not insured - while I am indeed insured to drive it. What this means is I have to contact my insurance company and ask them to add that vehicle to my policy (which will cost me addition $, even if it is not driven). I find it ridiculous that it must be this way, but states don't really have any other leverage it seems.

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  • identicon
    Another Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 4:34pm

    Something they should be doing, perhaps

    In Philadelphia, where half the cars are uninsured (and city council reps. hire drivers without licenses), the police are supposed to impound cars driven without insurance, but rarely do.

    Get hit by an uninsured driver, and you're screwed.

    I can't see impounding uninsured cars as an evil - it's not the same as an asset forfeiture. You get the car back once you get insurance for it.

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  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 4:47pm

    How long until they decide to start seizing uninsured homes, or even better arresting sending to prison anyone that refuses to have life insurance for themselves.

    because they are obviously a danger to everyone around them, and dangerous precedents never happen when you give dictatorial powers to people that constantly abuse the power they have

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    • identicon
      David, 24 Jan 2015 @ 1:24am

      Re:

      How long until they decide to start seizing uninsured homes,

      Last time I looked, home insurance was not about the damage your home might do to other people.

      I cannot take this article serious, sorry. Over here in Germany, you might not move your car a meter in public space without insurance covering damage caused by you to other drivers: you don't get license plates without insurance, and when your insurance gets terminated for any reason, you have to return the license plates when without proof of continuation.

      You can optionally insure your car against damage to your own car (and you have to do so if you use it as collateral for a loan) but the seminal point is that you cannot plan ahead just how expensive the car from someone else you might hit could turn out.

      And yes, vehicles will get seized when encountered in the wild without insurance and/or valid license plates. Even when parked in public space as opposed to private property. The streets are not everybody's scrapyard.

      If you are, say, driving a tractor from one town to another since you just bought it, and you don't intend to use it on public roads, you still have to buy temporary insurance and plates just for the drive.

      And it's not like a tractor cannot cause quite a bit of damage when you figure out that such a beast, when without power brakes and power steering, takes a bit more of physical exertion to control than you are used to.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2015 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        Last time I looked, home insurance was not about the damage your home might do to other people.

        So you don't have liability insurance? I hope you don't have stairs/steps.

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        • identicon
          I'm_Having_None_Of_It, 26 Jan 2015 @ 5:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Home insurance is only compulsory under certain mortgage lending arrangements. That someone might slip on your garden path and sue you is a different thing from you being hit by an uninsured driver, then losing your no claims bonus AND having your car declared a total loss. If that happens, you can't get insurance yourself on that car, and have to a) take the financial hit and b) buy another car.

          Of course, if it's not your problem, why should you care?

          That it drives up the cost of insurance is a problem for everyone is a reason why you should.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2015 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Your logic is consistent if you never have visitors and it is physically impossible for the collapse, explosion, incineration, electrical fault, or water/chemical leak of your home to adversely effect anyone who is not a resident of your home, meaning you can never have visitors.

        Even family members.

        And you think that this kind of grotesque government oppression is justified?

        I guess that explains why Germans enjoy being shit on in their pornography--it's just an extension of their relationship with their government.

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      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re:

        > Over here in Germany, you might not move your car a meter
        > in public space without insurance covering damage caused by
        > you to other drivers: you don't get license plates without
        > insurance, and when your insurance gets terminated for any
        > reason, you have to return the license plates when without
        > proof of continuation.

        What if you don't need insurance? What if you have more money than the insurance company and there's no possible accident that you wouldn't be able to afford to pay for?

        Do you still have to play this silly insurance game with the government?

        (I've wondered this about Obamacare, too. Does Bill Gates actually have to sign up for a health insurance policy when he has so much money that there's no medical bill he wouldn't be able to just afford to pay outright?)

        And in the Utah case, how does the cop who stops you on the road in the middle of the night verify your net worth to know that you don't need insurance?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          yes, usually a person gets a certificate of 'self-insurance.'

          what's an obama-care - haven't heard that company before. Do they have good rates?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:07pm

    Indeed this sounds a whole lot like it's about "impounding" (which comes with it's own set of hassles and possible corruptions) than "asset forfeiture".

    This should be verified to see if the point of this article is on target.

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    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:58pm

      Re:

      You're missing the obvious; if someone pays to get their vehicle back, then the state gets their money, and if the fee isn't paid for whatever reason, then the state keeps the vehicle. Either way, the state gets to keep the assets of a citizen. What about that doesn't smack of asset forfeiture?

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      • icon
        Dan J. (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 11:25am

        Re: Re:

        Either way, the state gets to keep the assets of a citizen. What about that doesn't smack of asset forfeiture?

        What doesn't smack of asset forfeiture? Pretty much everything. I'm not in favor of this specific change to the law but there's a HUGE difference between this and asset forfeiture. If you're driving without insurance, you're breaking the law, and it is, in principle, a reasonable law. If you cause a wreck and have no insurance, someone else gets to pay for the consequences of your bad decision. The law is intended to protect the innocent victim. I have no heartburn with the general principle of having a law requiring automobile insurance if you're driving on a public road and with having reasonable consequences for breaking that law. If you're caught speeding, you get fined. You pay the fine and guess what - the state gets to keep your assets. That's how fines work. It's the inherent nature of a fine. The problem with asset forfeiture is that you don't even have to be breaking the law, and there is no reasonable way for you to contest the issue. If asset forfeiture laws required that you be charged and convicted with a crime before your property was permanently confiscated and that the relationship between the assets being forfeited and the crime was reasonable (ie you don't forfeit your house for selling a dime bag), then I'd have much less heartburn with asset forfeiture.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2015 @ 3:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If there are conditions under which the government may come into the possession of funds held by a private citizen without going through the full course of due process then it is, by definition, asset forfeiture.

          Nothing you say implies that this law cannot somehow be twisted around to permit either erroneous impounding of privately owned vehicles, or the assessment of improper fines.

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  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:08pm

    An officer shall have the discretion to seize a vehicle without warrant if it’s being operated without insurance.
    FTFY, Utah. YW.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:19pm

    Public Safety

    Some people are simply uninsurable due to their driving record

    ...and if they're driving anyway, seems to me that taking them off the roads serves a very legitimate public safety interest!

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:57pm

      Re: Public Safety

      Not really. If you're under 18, have a couple speeding tickets, and one accident on your record, insurance can be hundreds each month - something many families can't pay. If the teen is the only driver in the family for whatever reason, they have to keep driving despite the lack of insurance. I knew a teen who was a good driver, but due to a few tickets, his age, where he lived, and the type of car he had (a Toyoto pickup, which are big theft targets in some cities), he was paying $6000 every six months for insurance. He could afford it (actually, his parents could), but how many people can't?

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      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:55pm

        Re: Re: Public Safety

        > I knew a teen who was a good driver, but due to a few tickets

        If he's still a teenager and he's already had "a few tickets", then he's not a good driver.

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        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 2:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

          Utterly wrong. Teens are more likely to be pulled over for nothing than adults. They're easy to intimidate, and rarely ever fight tickets, even when they know they're in the right. A teen can easily be driving along at the flow of traffic (being a safe driver) but still above the speed limit. If an officer decides to ticket someone in this group of cars, he'll pick either the guy in the fancy sports car, or the teen. It's even more likely to be the teen if he's also the one in the sports car.

          Tickets very rarely have anything to do with being safe or unsafe. They most often have to do with generating revenue for the city/county. When an officer has a quota to meet, everyone is a target, safe driving be damned. Judging drivers by tickets is usually (but not always) a bad way to make said judgments. Even accidents can be a bad way of judging driving. There are many people who crow about how good and safe they are because they've never gotten a ticket, and never had an accident... but they leave a trail of destruction behind them wherever they go.

          The person who causes an accident is very often never actually part of the accident. They cut someone off to exit the freeway at the last second causing a chain-reaction pileup, look in their rearview mirror (if they notice it at all), and say "Damn! What terrible drivers! Glad I'm not one of them!"

          People are judged on their driving by tickets and accidents because it's the EASIEST way to judge a driver, and is most often likely to place them into a category where you can charge them more for the same service - which is really all the insurance company cares about, not "safe" driving.

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    • identicon
      Loulou, 24 Jan 2015 @ 3:07pm

      Re: Public Safety

      Who is the safest driver? the one with insurance or the one without?
      Traveling the public road is a right, until you hurt someone in their person or property, the cops have no authority to stop you, but you don't know that, and they won't tell you.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jan 2015 @ 8:37pm

        Re: Re: Public Safety

        "Traveling the public road is a right"

        Assuming you mean "driving" instead of "traveling", then actually, it's a privilege... that's why we have to obtain drivers licenses in order to drive a vehicle on a public road.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

          > Assuming you mean "driving" instead of "traveling", then actually,
          > it's a privilege... that's why we have to obtain drivers licenses in
          > order to drive a vehicle on a public road.

          Yes, isn't it great how we've just acquiesced and allowed the government to turn things that should be natural rights into mere privileges which can be revoked at the whim of some bureaucrat?

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        • identicon
          AJ, 26 Jan 2015 @ 3:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

          I would argue it should only be a privilege if your not forced to pay for it. If I'm having to pay for the roads, then it should be my right.

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          • identicon
            I'm_Having_None_Of_It, 26 Jan 2015 @ 5:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

            Ugh! So much wrong with these statements. I used to work for an insurance company and believe me, the things I saw!

            Suffice it to say that no one has an automatic natural right to possess and operate anything that presents a clear and present danger to the public unless it is used properly and safely.

            You forget that compulsory insurance laws came about because of the number of vehicle collisions in which vehicles were damaged beyond repair and people were killed.

            It is irresponsible to refuse to purchase insurance for anything that the rest of us end up being liable for by default.

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            • identicon
              AJ, 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

              "Suffice it to say that no one has an automatic natural right to possess and operate anything that presents a clear and present danger to the public unless it is used properly and safely"

              I agree 100%. However, If I choose not to drive on the roads, then I shouldn't have to pay for the roads. If I need to use the roads, Taxi, Bus, whatever... the cost of those roads should be built into the price of the service when rendered. If this were the case, and at that point I CHOOSE to drive on the roads, then I would agree with your statement... but we are not really given the choice are we?

              If you are going to TAKE my money to fix the roads, then it should be my RIGHT to use them. That doesn't mean I don't have to adhere to the rules of the road, or common sense. But it's not a privilege if I'm being FORCED to pay for it!!

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            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

              Ugh! So much wrong with these statements. I used to work for an insurance company and believe me, the things I saw!

              Ahh, that puts your comments into context.


              Suffice it to say that no one has an automatic natural right to possess and operate anything that presents a clear and present danger to the public unless it is used properly and safely.

              You don't really understand the term "natural rights", do you?


              You forget that compulsory insurance laws came about because of the number of vehicle collisions in which vehicles were damaged beyond repair and people were killed.

              Not sure about anywhere else, but compulsory insurance laws came about in my state due to heavy lobbying from insurance companies.


              It is irresponsible to refuse to purchase insurance for anything that the rest of us end up being liable for by default.

              It's not irresponsible, if I have the funds to cover any liability that occurs. Why was this law changed in my state? Because insurance companies didn't get their cut that way.


              And as an aside, since you worked in the insurance company, can you explain why my premium increases if a make a claim? Isn't that what I paid for all these years? Why am I charged more if I actually USE the insurance I pay for?

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              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Public Safety

                "Not sure about anywhere else, but compulsory insurance laws came about in my state due to heavy lobbying from insurance companies."

                Same in my state. I still think that if we're going to be required to have certain insurance, that insurance should be built in to the system itself. We all have to have liability insurance? Then the state should provide the insurance and the premium built into the price of registration. In one fell swoop, there would be no uninsured drivers.

                I feel the same way about health insurance.

                This business about being legally required to do business with an industry that has a long history of abusing their customers really gets under my skin.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re: Public Safety

        "Who is the safest driver? the one with insurance or the one without?"

        Statistically, the insured driver is the safer driver.

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:52pm

    You missed the obvious point of this...

    Since the number of uninsured vehicles is so low in Utah, this is clearly aimed at OUT OF STATE drivers. Especially those from states that don't require insurance. Just like speeding is normally more strictly enforced if you have out of state plates, so too will this law.

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  • identicon
    Anatole France, 23 Jan 2015 @ 6:02pm

    Bridges for Rent

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
    poor to sleep in uninsured vehicles.

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  • identicon
    tomczerniawski, 23 Jan 2015 @ 6:03pm

    Time for Utahns (?) to look into bicycles.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 6:42pm

    Debbie Downers, all of you.

    You guys are looking at it all wrong, this is the perfect way to unload anything you want to get rid of. In Las Vegas, we have to pay recyclers to take CRT's, Plasma and Tube TV's. Just load up the trunk with your junk, have a buddy follow you up to Utah and presto-chango it's the cops problem now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:59pm

      Re: Debbie Downers, all of you.

      Many people have discovered a cheaper way of getting rid of old TVs and monitors: take 'em out into the desert and shoot 'em full of holes.

      Though its quite possible that the dumper could be a different person than the shooter, and that therefore it's just a strange concidence (or is it a sport?) that every old TV dumped in the desert ends up being shot to pieces as thoroughly as a "no hunting" sign in Kentucky.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 8:27pm

    This is the kind of law that makes me rage so bad. And people where I live (some province in Canada) are all so extremely brainwashed, I remember my stepdad saying "If you buy that car and drive it without insurance even for a week, I won't let you park it in our driveway."

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  • icon
    yankinwaoz (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 6:42am

    Sorry... this isn't the same

    I consider myself libertarian. But I agree with Utah on this one. You shouldn't be allowed to operate an uninsured vehicle.

    Here is California the uninsured vehicles are out of control. People can buy 1-day insurance policies, just long enough to get the registration past the DMV. It is total BS.

    A friend of mine was hit and seriously injured by a woman who bought insurance from the back of a van in the downtown LA Mexican market. Guess what? It turned out to be nothing but a worthless piece of paper. She was uninsured, yet the police let her walk. As far as we know, she is still driving around LA hitting people with her car.

    I really wish my state would implement a system like they have in other countries. You have to pre-pay 6 to 12 months of insurance in order to get your registration. You pay through the DMV. That way every car is insured.

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    • icon
      Dave Cortright (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 8:38am

      Re: Sorry... this isn't the same

      Yes, this is why my policy costs so damn much, despite having a clean record. I was just hit and my brand new car was totaled by a drunk driver last May. His "policy" covered all of $5000 per incident. For a 4 vehicle collision, this is woefully inadequate, which is why I'm glad that my insurance (both health and vehicle) covered pretty much all of my expenses.

      I do have the option of going after this asshole alcoholic legally, but since my out of pocket expenses was ~$100, it's not worth it. If it were in the $1000s or more, you can bet I would take him to court and sue him for that money.

      Anyway, my point is there is going to be no perfect system. In your "prepay through the DMV", there's no free-market way to shop around for the best rates, so good drivers like me will ultimately end up paying more than they should (just like today). And—Shia surprise!—people would still find a way to work around that, even if it is simply to not bother registering their cars.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 24 Jan 2015 @ 7:39am

    Utah seizing no insurance vehicles

    First of all, I don't believe the 3% uninsured vehicles in Utah. The Insurance Research Council is probably the source of such data. They told New Mexico that New Mexico had 29% uninsured. New Mexico said they only had 19% uninsured. My understanding is that this data is taken from accident reports. If there were x number of accidents, involving 100 drivers and 10 did not have insurance, that would equal 10% driving without insurance. Did they follow up and check to see if those with insurance cards were actually named drivers on the insurance policy, or did Mrs Jones buy insurance, did not list her
    DUI husband and teens on the policy, and allowed them to drive anyway. In cases of hit and runs, do they automatically assume the other driver did not have insurance? So the estimate of only 3% is highly suspect.

    Some of these" shoot now, ask questions later laws", such as the towing of Utah vehicles, including those vehicles that have insurance that can't be verified right away, should consider themselves lucky. In Missouri, an elderly lady was sent to jail because of incorrect insurance data. Finally State Farm was called, confirmed she had insurance, and she was let out of jail.

    Poor people have various ways of purchasing auto insurance on their limited budget. If they are eligible for food stamps, they can use their food money for auto insurance and go on food stamps. (I collected 3,000$ of food stamps and LIEAP due to Montana's mandatory auto insurance law). Poor people can also use their rent money for auto insurance and go delinquent on their rent and have the landlord indirectly pay for the auto insurance.

    Before Utah somehow gets every poor person to buy auto insurance, they should first get the insurance industry behind the law. Many insurance companies, including State Farm, oppose mandatory auto insurance laws because they do not want to insure high-risk drivers and also because poor people cannot afford it.

    People who suggest poor people should take the bus, taxi, etc, can't seem to realize it is much, much more simpler to drive without insurance. When I was in the Air Force, life insurance purchase was mandatory.
    Then I got out of the Air Force and Phil Donahue said I was wasting my money, a single man with no dependents has no business buying life insurance. Now we have proponents saying you need auto insurance and the insurance people saying it should not be a law. I think I will believe the insurance people.

    What is next, a law requiring tazing or waterboarding of those driving without insurance? Why not first try to get a pig to fly. If you taze a hog, he might fly around a bit, but I don't think that counts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan G Difino, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:52am

      Re: Utah seizing no insurance vehicles

      Any time you can get a pig to fly, that counts for something.. maybe great entertainment at a neighborhood bar-b-que! I know its a great prop at a rock concert!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 8:10am

    Standard procedure in the UK. No insurance they impound it. Don't pay up within a given time the car gets crushed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 8:23am

    Someone should start "insuring" anyone in Utah for $1

    What is the definition of "insurance" in Utah, anyway? To me the way around this clearly discriminatory legislation is to have an "insurance" policy that costs $1 and has a deductible of $1 million after which it pays 1/1,000,000 of the costs.

    Kind of like Amazon charging 1 Eurocent for shipping after being legally prevented from offering customers free shipping.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 11:34am

      Re: Someone should start "insuring" anyone in Utah for $1

      Most states specify a minimum level of coverage in order to satisfy the insurance requirement. I assume Utah is no exception.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:02am

    Kittens, Kittens, Kittens

    An earlier post suggesting a way to get rid of toxic trash would be to load it into a "clunkler" go to Utah and have the vehicle seized and towed for no insurance. And the toxic trash would now be the police problem. That would also be an ingenious way to get rid of the 100 cats some people have around their house and need to get rid of them. Put them in an old vehicle, put a sign on the front "I have no %^%$#@!!!&&^%$% insurance", drive around the local Utah police station until necessary, and you can unload the car and cats on the police.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan G Difino, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:27am

      Re: Kittens, Kittens, Kittens

      Someone shot my cat and you better hope it wasn't you and I find out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      GEMont (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 6:41pm

      Re: Kittens, Kittens, Kittens

      Under normal circumstances, the Police will only steal vehicles that have a high re-sale value or that they themselves desire to own, and a clunker full of toxic waste or semi-dead cats does not register on the plus side of an accounting chart or represent anyone's dream-car, so it is highly unlikely that such vehicular subterfuge would succeed.

      It is far more likely that they will instead fine you for some pollution citation and radio ahead to other cops on your homeward path, who will levy similar charges upon your vehicle, all the way home.

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan G Difino, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:11am

    Days gone and lost forever

    Back in the day before it was illegal to operate a motor vehicle without insurance, you had to drive in a manner to which you could for 99% of the time protect your interest on the road. If you were concerned for the chance that an uninsured driver could smash into you, you got insurance for that.

    Also, although I donate to the Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and to the local Sherriff when I can, its getting harder to appreciate what they are doing when I hear of all this seizure activity of people's hard earned property. I don't call 911 because they are first and foremost out for themselves. They love to get in the middle of a good old fight. I wonder if they get checked for steroid use because they come all pumped up ready to tangle looking as close to Arnold as they can. The thought that they can legally rob someone without even charging them for a crime makes me nauseous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bengie, 24 Jan 2015 @ 10:38am

    Insurnace

    Driving without insurance is like driving drunk, don't do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 6:31pm

      Re: Insurnace

      Umm, no, you choose to get drunk, you don't always have that choice when it comes to insurance, for some it's just not feasible for any number of reasons(perhaps they can barely afford the car itself).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re: Insurnace

        > for some it's just not feasible for any number of reasons(perhaps
        > they can barely afford the car itself).

        Insurance is part of the cost of having a car, just like the gas and the maintenance. If you can't afford insurance, you can't afford a car.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 11:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insurnace

          I'm sure that's real reassuring to those who's financial situation is bad enough that they can afford insurance or a car(or perhaps insurance or food), but not both. Can't afford both? Well then, do without! What's that, you need to be able to drive to get to your job(s) in order to be able to eat? Tough, no insurance means no car, it's your problem figuring out how to get to work.

          A car can run just fine without insurance, the same cannot be said for gasoline, so while it would certainly be ideal if everyone had, and could afford, insurance, the two are not in fact equal when it comes to 'necessary for the vehicle to run'.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Insurnace

            yep, youre right, tough.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              I'm_Having_None_Of_It, 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Insurnace

              I refer you to my earlier comment. It's irresponsible to not buy insurance. I know you may require a car to get to work but other options such as ride-sharing might be available. Do that instead of driving uninsured.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 26 Jan 2015 @ 8:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Insurnace

                I agree that it's irresponsible, my point is that for some people, it's simply not feasible to do otherwise. If presented with the choice of 'Food or Insurance', someone shouldn't be punished even more by having their car taken away if, greedy person that they are, they choose 'food'.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 12 Feb 2015 @ 7:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Insurnace

            > Can't afford both? Well then, do without!

            Exactly. Do without. You're not entitled to a car in this world.

            I did without for many years when I was younger for precisely that reason. I could barely afford a car, but I couldn't afford the insurance and other costs, so I did without, and still managed to get where I needed to go.

            What I didn't do is whine about it, break the law, and justify it with my personal sob story.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 24 Jan 2015 @ 10:59am

    Old laws

    I'd be surprised if Utah doesn't have some old laws on the books allowing for - or perhaps even requiring - the summary execution of highwaymen by hanging or firing squad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 24 Jan 2015 @ 11:49am

    Insurance

    As to "Insurance" claiming driving without insurance is the same as driving drunk. How come you could drive without insurance for 50 years and then all of a sudden it is this bad crime? You still have New Hampshire where it is legal to drive without insurance. Insurance companies want this law repealed. No one wants DUI laws repealed.

    How come the proponents have to resort to sneaky underhanded methods to get these laws. In Nebraska, the proponents tried for 22 years to get driving without insurance laws passed and failed thru the Banking and Insurance Committee. Failing that, they took the bill to the Public Works Committee. In Wisconsin, the legislature said "no" to mandatory auto insurance, so the proponents stuck mandatory insurance in the budget bill. If mandatory auto insurance is so necessary, why do you proponents have to use such sleazy tactics???????????? Why is it always drivers without insurance that kill people, drivers with insurance have never killed anyone on the highway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 24 Jan 2015 @ 12:06pm

    This is only going to get worse until its stopped entirtely.

    "So, there's still significant room for abuse in many states' programs, ones that will need to be closed at the local level."

    Closed!!???!!

    Hell, you can almost smell the carbon fumes from all the local boys burning the midnight oil trying to come up with the right words to alter their own laws in ways that make asset forfeiture the new Budget Funding Miracle of the Century.

    Aint no way the Blue Boys are going to do without the awesome Reverse Robin Hood income they've all become accustomed to.

    How else are they gonna buy all them shiny new military toys from ObamaRama MilSale... or send their kids to college, or get the wife that nifty mink coat....

    It'll take a few more months, but you can bet your ass the Boys in Blue Unions will be lawyering up and getting legislation passed that will make today's Asset Forfeiture Programs look like Church Bake Sales.

    No crook will willingly allow an easy mark to escape once they've been cornered and with the right laws in place, the entire public becomes the perfect eternal patsy.

    When crooks write the laws, only citizens need fear the long arm of the law and its soldier-enforcers.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jan 2015 @ 1:44pm

    God help you if you are living in your car. Just another case of organized crime getting a license to steal. Why not make it a felony, once the entire population is in jail maybe the Canadians will assume control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Loulou, 24 Jan 2015 @ 3:49pm

    Mandatory Insurance

    From the comments on this page I have to conclude that many Americans are unfit to assume their freedom and should be put into these FIMA camps prepared for them.
    Your government love you, repeat after me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jan 2015 @ 5:42pm

    It's about time!!!!! Come on TEXAS follow suit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 24 Jan 2015 @ 7:23pm

    Good drivers getting punished

    A good driver spends, what? 20,000$ on liability insurance in his lifetime (2 cars). That is 20,000$ down the drain and is the same as if an uninsured driver wrecked his 20,000$ car. How do we fix the problem of good drivers being punished by being forced to pour 20,000$ down the drain ( and paying for 20,000$ of someone elses car wrecks? That's no fun!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Old Sailor, 24 Jan 2015 @ 9:14pm

    Uninsured motorists.

    No problem, of course, until an uninsured has an accident.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe.C, 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:06am

    property ownership taken bu Utha state is criminal doing.

    Let the War begin in Utah when people by a consumer product now it can be confiscated by the local government. Let the Civil War begin. This would be the revolution of a life time when a police state has been secretly in effect. The people not knowing. Let the residence shoot all those terrorist in "Blue Uniforms" that trespass on there property. Teach this Utah government officials a dead lesson. Mess with my civil rights and see what you'll get. Its a good thing my residence is not Utah State. A collection of vehicles with out license plates is not necessary. Value of property ownership. "This is a government take over. This is just the beginning of what the local government tends to do for now. It will get worst with other confiscation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 25 Jan 2015 @ 5:24am

    Three worst laws in the U.S.

    Worst law: (1) Right to own slaves (favored by rich white males)

    (2) Women could not have the right to vote (favored by rich white males)

    (3) Poor people cannot drive on the public roads (favored by rich whites, male and female. (vehicles of poor people who are excellent drivers are seized and towed in Utah, for no insurance).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AJ, 26 Jan 2015 @ 4:37am

      Re: Three worst laws in the U.S.

      "(3) Poor people cannot drive on the public roads (favored by rich whites, male and female. (vehicles of poor people who are excellent drivers are seized and towed in Utah, for no insurance)."

      I don't think #3 is very logical.

      Those rich white males don't get rich off their own backs, the employ others to do so for them. If the people they pay can't get to work, the rich white guy doesn't get rich. Why do you think the rich white guy supports this new immigration reform push going on right now? Cheap labor is cheap labor, they don't really care who it is as long as it's cheap. The people that compete for those low wage jobs should be up in arms right now, it's about to get a whole lot harder to find work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 25 Jan 2015 @ 10:31am

    Utah's New Law -Confiscation of vehicles w/o/ insurance

    The STATE OF UTAH LEGALLY OWNS THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION, NOT THE PERSON PURCHASING/DRIVING THE VEHICLE, THAT'S WHY THEY CAN CONFISCATE THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION. IT'S SIMPLY THE TRUE AND CORRECT OWNER, THE STATE OF UTAH, WANTS THEIR PROPERTY INSURED AGAINST ANY LOSS. THE TITLE TO THE VEHICLE IS A FEE TITLE, NOT ALLODIAL TITLE!!!! THE PERSON ONLY HAS USE OF THE VEHICLE NOT TRUE OWNERSHIP. WHEN ONE PURCHASES THE VEHICLE, AT THE TIME OF SALE, ONE SHOULD CAREFULLY READ ALL THE DOCUMENTS, BEFORE SIGNING THEM, AND THEREIN WOULD FIND TO THE LANGUAGE WHERE THE PURCHASER GIVES OWNERSHIP OF THE VEHICLE TO THE STATE, IN THIS CASE UTAH! CHECK IT OUT...READ THE DOCS BEFORE SIGNING!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 4:42pm

    Not a Problem

    This will only last until they realize most seized vehicles belong to illegals. Then law will be repealed (or only enforced against citizens). It's what happened with a similar law in California.

    Can't do anything that might so much as inconvenience an illegal, dontcha know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      GEMont (profile), 25 Jan 2015 @ 8:47pm

      Re: Not a Problem

      "Can't do anything that might so much as inconvenience an illegal, dontcha know."

      Well of course you can't interfere with the daily routine or the necessary transportation of illegal aliens in California.

      They are, after all, working for California's ultra rich Elite, doing chores that would actually cost the elite real wages if white folks did them.

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        d rasher, 25 Jan 2015 @ 9:22pm

        Re: Re: Not a Problem

        I don't see a problem at all with this. So what? They first had a law that said the officer "may" impound or "seize" the car. That didn't work. So, in searching for a solution that does work, and compels the people to be responsible, and have insurance, they changed one word, from may to shall. Now, there is ZERO ambiguity in the law. Insure your car, or IT WILL be impounded. I suffered a severe loss several years ago, when I was rear ended by a drunk driver with no insurance. Yes, MY uninsured motorist insurance fixed my car, an my insurance paid the medical bills , which were extensive, but guess what? MY insurance rates went up for the next 5 years. I had to pay because this jerk that rear ended me, had no insurance and drove drunk. What did it cost the drunk? Well, he was fined a $500.00 fine and spend 12 days in jail. He got out, left the state, and never paid the fine. I still suffer daily, back and neck pain, headaches and sometimes numbness. I got a better idea. If someone gets caught driving without insurance, revoke their driving priveledge for 5 years, which would be maintained in a national data base. IF they violate that revocation, anywhere, MAKE IT A FELONY, WITH MANDATORY PRISON TIME OF AT LEAST A YEAR! Same for drunk drivers, .... FIRST OFFENSE, revocation of driving privelidge for 5 years, alcohol rehab, mandatory, and a felony, requiring prison time for a violtion of that revocation, and at least a year in jail, first offense. No more lives ruined because someone can afford a $1000.00 an hour lawyer. Drive drunk, drive uninsured, get your butt kicked in the courts, ... no exceptions. Do I sound bitter? I am!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AJ, 26 Jan 2015 @ 5:14am

        Re: Re: Not a Problem

        You got it GeMont!!

        Whip the bleeding hearts into a frenzy, add a liberal amount of "think of the children", get them tearing down the borders and flooding the labor pool with cheap labor. Meanwhile, support higher taxes and a massive government (which really only costs a fraction of earnings due to all the cheap labor) to keep everything under control.. The "MAN" loves this shit. All the bleeding hearts that hate big business are consistently lobbying for immigration reform, providing cheap labor for the very big business they hate. Brilliant!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don Birkholz, 26 Jan 2015 @ 5:14am

    What it is like to be poor

    When I was poor, I had maybe two pair of jeans, one pair of shoes, and no liability insurance on my 1979 Ford pickup. I think I was making around 700$ per year (that is per year, not per month). And my electricity bill was 400$ per year. I owned my own home that was nothing but a cement shell, and plywood roof. One day my tooth broke and I did not have the money for a year or two to get it fixed (I still did not have liability auto insurance). I also did not get my pickup serviced for many years, like you are supposed to.Finally I was able to find employment (self employed) and dig myself out of a hole. But when you are poor, getting a tooth fixed (it hurt every time I ate), buying your own food, and even buying toilet paper are more important than buying auto insurance to the poor. There are 40 million on food stamps in this country. None of them should be buying auto insurance. It is obvious from some of the comments here that those making pro auto insurance comments have never been poor. Try it, you won't like the government telling you that auto insurance is more important than food, fixing a broken tooth, or even toilet paper. You auto insurance proponents should treat the poor like you would like to be treated if you were poor, but that would involve making sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      I'm_Having_None_Of_It, 26 Jan 2015 @ 6:09am

      Re: What it is like to be poor

      Poverty is caused by low wages, a low tax take (fewer welfare benefits and public services, e.g. subsidized housing, public transport, etc.), a lack of infrastructure, and poor education.

      It's hard to become self-sufficient without the wherewithal to get there. We all need the tools to get the job done, is what I'm saying.

      I understand that many of those 40 million are actually working. If their wages went up, they would be able to afford insurance, wouldn't they? In the meantime, perhaps their Scroogey bosses should be made to pay for it so they can get to work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        GEMont (profile), 27 Jan 2015 @ 1:05am

        Re: Re: What it is like to be poor

        "Poverty is caused by low wages, a low tax take (fewer welfare benefits and public services, e.g. subsidized housing, public transport, etc.), a lack of infrastructure, and poor education."

        Actually, poverty is an institutionalized social engineering process that has always been necessary to support a wealthy upper class.

        Rant Warning
        ============

        Poverty is a primary necessity in any empire civilization, as it provides the desperation needed to create minions and petty criminals out of your average, otherwise honest, civilians.

        Without minions, the wealthy would need to seek professional assistance for activities such as espionage and assassination, and pay premium mercenary prices for all those armed guards patrolling their estates.

        Without petty criminals, crime would be nearly invisible, since the real criminals, who work for the wealthy, are never arrested or exposed to public awareness.

        One of the main reason that Drugs are still illegal is to provide the necessary level of daily "crime" needed to keep the public scared shitless and willing to put up with more and more minions in Blue walking the street.

        As the wealthy take more of the public wealth, it becomes necessary to increase this level of fear, and so Terrorists were born to create greater desperation and fear and futility and increase the sale of drugs and thus increase the NEED for more Blue Clad Minions.

        Poverty creates the desperation and drive for normal people to risk everything to sell drugs in the hopes for a get rich quick escape from poverty, and fuels the depression and futility necessary to drive the population to the use of those same drugs.

        The actual winners in that war are of course the very same people who have the money to set up and carry out the vast distribution process needed for such a market - the wealthy rulers who control the economy and the wages and cost of products which maintains poverty at its optimum level.

        Poverty is an absolutely necessary part of the process of public exploitation and cannot be erased or even lessened as long as criminals rule from the top of a civilization. It can only increase as the greed of those sucking the life blood out of humanity increases, and the need for more desperate minions and criminals thus increases.

        Even more importantly to the wealthy is the fact that poverty creates the primary drive for citizens to become soldiers, because, for the wealthy, war is the greatest of all commercial opportunities.

        If you look at any major war, you will note that just prior to the beginning of that war, the nations involved suddenly went through a short but nasty period of economic downturn.

        This is entirely manufactured in order to create the additional desperation needed to get most men to join the army and fight a war.

        Sadly, in order to eradicate poverty, one must eradicate wealth and that is absolutely impossible when half the world is already addicted to it, and that half rules.

        ---

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    don Birkholz, 26 Jan 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Insurance companies lobbied for mand auto insurance?

    Would need some verification on that. Many insurance companies have lobbied AGAINST mandatory auto insurance. Type "715 insurance companies quietly oppose mandatory auto insurance" into your search engine for verification.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 27 Jan 2015 @ 10:15am

    New Utah Law

    If You Don't Insure Your Property Cops Will Steal Your Property

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cp, 27 Jan 2015 @ 11:38am

    Uninsured

    I agree that uninsured drivers should be penalized for not taking responsibility of car ownership. However the greater problem is those who are so irresponsible as to get behind the wheel intoxicated and have an accident with personal injuries. Taking away ones drivers license does not impede one's ability to drive a car!

    THEY ARE THE ONES WHO NEED TO HAVE THEIR VEHICLES IMPOUNDED!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reality bites, 10 Feb 2015 @ 8:41am

    Not long ago men were hung for stealing your means of transportation

    They were called horse thieves and they got hung, just like they deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ManWPlan (profile), 8 Oct 2016 @ 9:00pm

    Vehicle Seizure

    You need to drive with insurance. Your car should be impounded if you aren't driving with insurance. If you were to cause an accident or be involved in an accident, you need to show insurance. Do not go making excuses why you may not have it. You need to have it. If you cause and accident and don't have insurance, you should go to jail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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