About a month ago, councilman Mitchell Rasansky proposed that police automatically tow to the city pound uninsured vehicles driven by people who are stopped by police. The issue is still winding its way through the system, with a vote scheduled April 23, according to the DMN.
Jerry Allen and Rasansky are on record supporting the measure, while Carolyn Davis says she’s against it because it targets racial and ethnic minorities; the Morning News story says police believe they represent the greatest number of Dallas drivers without insurance.
The policy appears to be a money-loser in the first year, but could turn positive in year 2, although based on the red-light camera funding estimates, perhaps the city’s calculations aren’t worth too much consideration. Instead, the simple issue should be: Is this a good policy for most city residents or not?
Yes, it is going to be painful for low-income residents (regardless of race or ethnicity) who made the conscious decision to conserve their resources by not buying insurance for their vehicle. But that decision simply costs the rest of us more money when the uninsured become involved in an accident and can’t/won’t pay for the damages. It’s a pretty simple proposition: If someone is unwilling to follow the law and obtain insurance, they don’t need to be driving a vehicle in Dallas. This is an ordinance the city can enforce (as opposed to, say, the pooper-scooper law), so the council should enact it.