Gov. Bill Owens pushed a bill
Dec. 17 to stiffen penalties in Colorado for uninsured drivers.
“Under current law, it is often
less expensive to pay for the fine than to buy insurance,” Owens said in a
statement. “What we’re proposing today gives motorists a stronger incentive to
purchase and maintain insurance.”
The proposed legislation,
sponsored by Rep. Rob Fairbank, R-Littleton, and Sen. Mark Hillman,
R-Burlington, will be considered when lawmakers meet at the Capitol in Denver
The bill would increase the
fines from $100 to $500 for first-time offenders and lead to suspension of a
driver’s license until proof of insurance was filed.
Repeat offenders would see a
$1,000 penalty, up from the current $200, and a four-month license suspension.
Evidence of insurance would need to be kept current for three years and would
be required for reinstatement of the driver’s license.
The legislation also proposes
higher fines for forged proof of insurance cards and more reporting to the
state by insurance companies about persons who have dropped or failed to renew
their vehicle insurance policies.
“These are needed reforms,” the
governor said. “The vast majority of Colorado motorists – who pay premiums year
after year – shouldn’t be victimized by those who want a free ride. It’s time
to pay up.”
According to the statement,
local law-enforcement departments would share the state revenue from fines
issued for lack of insurance.
The Colorado State Patrol
estimates 16 percent of motorists in the state are driving uninsured.