By Sarah Snyder
A new program allows highway patrol to determine whether or not you're carrying a valid insurance card.
It's an effort to crack down on phoney and out-dated cards.
This new program, called TexasSure started at the beginning of the month. It provides all highway patrol with the technology to find out in seconds if Texas drivers have insurance.
"I feel that it's helped us do a more thorough job of ensuring that people are insured motorists," DPS Trooper Dwayne Dickson, said.
Not only are they watching West Texas traffic, but now they're checking to make sure those drivers have insurance.
"In the past all we could do was look at an insurance card and see if it was still valid or call and confirm," Trooper Dickson said. "Sometimes that's not easy to do especially during early morning hours or out of business hours."
That's why TXDOT, DPS, and the Texas Department of Insurance developed the TexasSure program. It's designed to catch uninsured drivers.
"And now, this program helps us identify if they really do have insurance or if they possibly just don't have a policy insurance card with them or proof of insurance with them," Trooper Dickson, said. "It helps us validate those facts."
Here's how it works: when Highway Patrol stops a driver, he can go back to the car, enter the insurance card information into a computer, and make sure it's a valid account.
"When we run that registration, we get that return in seconds," Trooper Dickson said.
If an officer discovers you don't have up-to-date insurance, you'll get a ticket.
"When you're hit by an uninsured driver, that's just about the worst thing that can happen to you," Glen Larum with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.
And according to TXDOT, that's pretty common.
One in five Texas drivers, about four million people, hit the roads each day without insurance.
"I would expect that when this program is in place and they're using it everyday, that number will come down dramatically," Larum said.
The TexasSure program costs the state about 7 million dollars, that money comes out of car registration fees.
"What it will mean is more insured drivers, fewer accidents involving uninsured drivers and we're all better off in the long run," Larum said.
If you are caught without a valid insurance account, you could get a fine for up to $350, and repeat offenders may even lose their license for a couple years.