Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Conservative View: Our Brother's Keeper

This week's Conservative View, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner (R-Stilwell).
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

Our Brother's Keeper

I believe that if the government makes something illegal when it only affects you, you are no longer a free person. If you own your home there should not be a law that forces you to purchase insurance on it. I also do not believe that the government should force you to purchase health insurance, but I do have problems with people that refuse to purchase insurance on their autos. By some estimates 25 percent of the drivers on the road do not have liability insurance. Liability insurance is compulsory under Oklahoma law; while I can understand the down economy and a pay check not going too far, not buying insurance can have disastrous results on your fellow drivers. The same economy affects the insured and uninsured alike. Many people only carry liability on their cars, if they are in an accident and they are at fault the liability insurance can protect them from being sued personally for damages. The good driver may be willing to gamble on himself but not on the general public. There is a bill before the governor that could help protect the insured from the uninsured; it is House Bill 2331, by state Rep. Steve Martin and state Sen. Gary Stanislawski.

The Legislation would allow law enforcement to impound an uninsured vehicle and have it towed to an impoundment lot until it can be legally redeemed by the owner. Technology currently exists to allow law enforcement officers to know immediately if a car is insured. Up to this time law enforcement has had no power to seize an uninsured vehicle. Many times the uninsured driver who was the cause of an accident would be allowed to drive away from the scene while the innocent victim, whose car was disabled in the accident, was towed by a wrecker. Sen. Gary Stanislawski was quoted as saying, “Those not obeying Oklahoma’s compulsory insurance the law will risk not only the fines currently in law, but also inconvenience and cost of having their vehicles legally removed from the roadway,” “Responsible Oklahoma drivers who abide by the law should not have to worry about traffic accidents with uninsured drivers. It is a slap in the face when you have to pay for both your insurance and the cost of repair when hit by an uninsured driver,” House Bill 2331 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 93-3 and the Oklahoma Senate 41-4. When it comes to our actions on the road, we are our brother’s keeper.

If you wish to contact Russell Turner, or want to subscribe to his email loop, email him at


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