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6 Investigates: Data shows fewer uninsured drivers in Nueces Cou - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

6 Investigates: Data shows fewer uninsured drivers in Nueces County

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CCPD attributes a drop in the uninsured driver rate to its tow policy established 10 years ago. CCPD attributes a drop in the uninsured driver rate to its tow policy established 10 years ago.
CORPUS CHRISTI -

A decade after Corpus Christi police began enforcing a tow policy, there are fewer uninsured drivers on the roads in Nueces County.

For every seven drivers on the road, one of them doesn’t have car insurance, according to the latest data published by Texas Sure, the state’s insurance verification system.

That number is down significantly from where it was in 2008 when one in three drivers in Nueces County didn’t have insurance, according to  KRIS 6 investigation.

The Corpus Christi Police Department credited its tow policy for making a difference. That and access to the state’s insurance verification data.

“It's been a good move, and it's been a good transition to where we are now,” said Corpus Christi Police Chief Mike Markle.

The tow policy means if a driver is caught without car insurance, police will have the vehicle towed to the city’s impound yard. Proof of insurance is the only way a driver can retrieve the car.

The policy, along with a taxpayer funded expansion of the impound lot, allowed police to ramp up the program in 2011, Markle said.

There are about 1,000 cars towed the lot each year, according to data from police.

Even though there has been a drop in the local uninsured driver rate, Nueces County’s uninsured driver rate is still higher than the state’s rate at 1 in 8 drivers, according to an analysis of the Texas Sure data.

Police say there are no plans to end the tow policy. In fact, Markle said the policy has helped change a culture of breaking the law when it comes to driving without car insurance.

“It's the accepted norm now that if you drive a car, you need insurance, so we don't want to let up on those things,” Markle said. "We want to keep the enforcement going."

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