My wife was killed in an automobile crash caused by an uninsured motorist. It was a devastating loss. Our family's loss was compounded by the knowledge that the state of Missouri does not have a system in place to remove uninsured vehicles from our highways. We do not want anyone else to have to experience the frustration and absolute devastation of the loss of a lifetime companion and loving mother at the hands of an uninsured motorist, such as the one who was illegally on the road the night our loved one was killed.
Since this occurred, our family has asked how an accident like this could happen. Even though this accident didn't happen in the state of Missouri, the results are still the same; with no enforcement of existing liability insurance laws, regardless of state, the uninsured motorist gets off scot-free while the victims are left footing the bill.
If our state legislators can pass a bill stating that a driver must have insurance, why can't they implement a follow-up system to make sure that driver RETAINS insurance on their vehicle? The states of New York and Louisiana, among others have systems in place to keep non-insured vehicles off the road.
Some people buy auto insurance for the sole purpose of registering their vehicle. After the plates are obtained, in many cases, they will then drop or lapse their insurance and continue to operate their vehicle. Without a follow-
up system in place, in Missouri many driver will illegally operate their cars uninsured for 23 months with a two-year renewal.
The Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees licensing and registration of motor vehicles, seems to assume that all vehicles operating on our state's roads and highways have automobile insurance. The only means the state has of finding out if a driver in insured or not is if the driver is stopped for a non-related traffic violation, or if the driver is involved in an accident.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist you must collect from your own insurance company. What will happen to your rates when you are renewed? Will you even BE renewed? Meanwhile, the uninsured motorist will pay a small fine at most.
Please, if you have a loved one, a friend or someone you know killed or injured by an uninsured motorist PLEASE contact your state senator or representative. We also welcome anyone to initiate a petition that they would submit to their elected officials in Jefferson City.
With everyone's help we can initiate the follow-up system so desperately needed to make EVERYONE accountable.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
William Bradt and Family