Bill would allow police to fine speeders, bypass insurance companies

Rep. Todd Rutherford

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- A Midlands lawmaker says insurance companies are recklessly raising rates on drivers caught speeding.

Rep. Todd Rutherford is sponsoring a state bill in which drivers caught speeding pay a fine without getting points tacked onto their records.

This speed warning bill would allow drivers to pay a $150 fine in lieu of having the speeding ticket reported to a driver's insurance company.

"150 dollars is still kind of steep, I think it should be so much per mile over," says Columbia driver Corinne Tomihiro.

According to the State Newspaper, the proposal applies to drivers pulled over for going less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Rutherford says under this bill drivers would have a choice to take the two point violation for speeding and pay $76 or pay $150 and not have any points added to your license. He adds that he doesn't think police departments will abuse this law because it gives them a choice.

"If you get pulled over two times a day and the officer can pull that up, then no, he's probably not going to give you that discretion and allow you to not have this affect your insurance, but if you can show your driving record and show you have never been pulled over, this is the first time in 10 years, why shouldn't that officer help you out," Rutherford explains.

His bill is in the House Judiciary Committee. He's not sure when it will get a full vote in the house.

A spokesman for State Farm Insurance says the company will take an interest in this legislation before that vote. The spokesman adds that some of its drivers won't get points on their license for speeding unless they've filed a claim in the past.

What do you think about the proposal that would allow police to issue $150 warning tickets to speeders while allowing the punishment to bypass insurance companies?

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