Uninsured vehicles in Arizona remain safe from towing following the defeat of a bill that would have given law enforcement the power to have uninsured vehicles towed and impounded.
However, the narrow 6 to 7 defeat did make headlines and raise awareness about the type of penalties uninsured drivers already face within the state. Since, according to the Insurance Research Council, about 12% of all vehicles on Arizona’s roads are uninsured, the financial and physical threat they pose to the state’s citizens is real. Interestingly, the national average is higher at 13.8%.
The bill, SB 1165, was authored by Representative John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) who said it was ridiculous that drivers were allowed to drive away from encounters with a law enforcement officer even when the officer knew the vehicle was not insured. Conversely, those against the bill warmed that it was both unwise and unkind for Arizona to turn 200,000 vehicle owners into criminals facing stiff and expensively life-changing charges incurred when a car vehicle is towed and impounded.
Additionally, if the bill had become law there would have been some vehicle owners who would have had their vehicles improperly impounded due to clerical errors.