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District Attorneys, Insurance Groups Say Uninsured Driver Crackdown A Ways From Implementation

State Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa, right.
Sue Ogrocki
State Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa, right, the House author of Senate Bill 359.

There's a lot of work that needs to be done before a bill intended to reduce the number of uninsured drivers can go into effect.

The House gave final approval May 27 to Senate Bill 359, which would allow law enforcement to use cameras and automated license plate readers to enforce the state's compulsory insurance law. It's currently on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk awaiting her signature.

Oklahoma District Attorneys Council Executive Coordinator Suzanne McClain Atwood told eCapitol’s Christie Southern the legislation will generate revenue, but it's not clear how much:

"We have to create an online database, we have to create a link between the insurance department and us," she said. The bill has not yet been signed by Gov. Mary Fallin and experienced some backlash among lawmakers during its passage. Some members of the House felt the tag reader program is intrusive and worried about the potential hacking of government databases. The bill narrowly won approval in that chamber. The measure's House author, Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa, said it is estimated that 1 in 4 vehicles in the road are uninsured and argued that the measure was needed to improve insurance rates in the state.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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