Knowles Cautions Legislators Not To Disrupt Tags By Mail Program While Tightening Insurance Checks

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
                       

Bill Knowles, county clerk for Hamilton County, on Tuesday cautioned legislators not to disrupt the successful tags by mail and Internet program while tightening checks on whether motorists have proper insurance.

He testified before the Tennessee Senate Commerce and Labor Study Committee.

The panel is headed by Senator Steve Southerland. Members are Senators Dolores Gresham and Charlotte Burks.

He spoke concerning Senate Bill 2517 - the Uninsured Motorist Enforcement Act.

Here are his remarks:

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee:

Thank you for permitting me to speak on the issue before you today.  I have followed General Assembly vehicle insurance compliance legislation with interest across the years.

 

Many of you have been gracious to read my numerous emails on the subject.

 

Hamilton County was one of the pioneers in creating tag renewals by mail in the mid 1970’s.  Now the mail program is an option in each of the 95 counties.

 

My office also forged ahead being the first county in Tennessee to offer renewals by Internet in 2001. 

 

So, how Tennessee law is amended regarding the compulsory insurance law will have a profound impact on motorists from Shelby to Pickett County.

 

I agree that strengthening the current compulsory insurance law is important to law enforcement.

 

My major concern regards the methodology of how the verification law will be established.

While a Tennessee solution is sought to assist law enforcement, it must also be crafted to be a seamless check accommodating the robust mail and Internet programs administered by county clerk offices.

 

The most efficient and rapid method of serving the motoring public should be considered when improving the critical issue of vehicle insurance compliance.

 

I believe that the resolution must be a cyber-handshake between the Tennessee law and the insurance industry’s most up-to-date databases.

 

It should include a quick check of the vehicle identification number commonly referred to as the VIN and display a simple screen with a yes or no compliance response.

 

Either the vehicle is properly covered and eligible for registration, or it is not.

 

Without this method county clerk mail and Internet options would cease to exist.

 

Multiplied thousands of busy motorists across the state would be forced back into long courthouse lines to simply renew an annual tag.

 

And why would mail and Internet programs cease if a digital solution is not implemented?

 

Without a digital method of checking documents received by mail we would not have the opportunity to verify proof.

 

A document not verifiable could have easily been created with a pc and an inexpensive inkjet printer.

 

Both counterfeit money and fake driver’s licenses are not uncommon using this technology.

 

In Tennessee we have proved that a digital enforcement solution to gain emissions test results works.

 

After an emission test is completed, a compliance report identifying a specific vehicle is transmitted to our offices in a matter of minutes.

 

In the state of Georgia where vehicle insurance enforcement has been successfully addressed the answer is an electronic solution.

 

The Georgia counties across the near-by state line in Chattanooga have seen their model system function for more than 10 years.

 

My neighboring counterparts tell me the cyber-handshake between the Georgia government and the insurance industry is a reality.

 

Georgia tag officials enter a vehicle identification number into their data system and verification of coverage is confirmed.

In closing, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to represent Hamilton County and clerk offices state-wide today regarding this important issue.

 

I urge you to give county clerks, law enforcement, and franchised motor vehicle dealers workable and foolproof tools if an amendment to Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law is enacted.

 

 




James Robin Roddy, 39, Arrested For Car Burglary, Striking 3 Pedestrians, And Pursuit

James Robin Roddy, 39, was arrested Tuesday night on multiple charges, stemming from Monday’s events including burglary, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and evading arrest. Wo rking on an anonymous tip, Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies located and apprehended Roddy at 9923 Carey Lane. He  was taken into custody and was being transported to the Hamilton County Jail. ... (click for more)

Council Discusses Kevin Muhammad Presentation; Hears About New 311 App

The City Council discussed how they would handle Tuesday night’s special presentation from local Nation of Islam leader Kevin Muhammad. The presentation was meant to be a rebuttal to Mayor Andy Berke’s State of the City address. Mr. Muhammad was to be given 20 minutes to present. After receiving several calls from other constituents asking for time to speak, the City Council ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, A Social Experiment

JoeySalads, his screen name, is widely known for his funny pranks except for the fact he calls them “social experiments.” So while we are still on the transgender-restroom issue, our boy JoeySalads got a transgender friend to approve his attire before he tried his luck at entering women’s restrooms. I don’t think you’ll be real surprised at what really happened in this video. Click ... (click for more)

Johnson Homers Twice As Baylor Beats Silverdale, 4-2

There’s nothing more fun than covering a softball game featuring two outstanding teams, ones who can get clutch hits, pitch through tough situations and even make spectacular defensive plays when the game is on the line. That was the case at Silverdale Tuesday afternoon where the Lady Seahawks were hosting the Baylor Lady Red Raiders. Silverdale had gone to Baylor on April ... (click for more)

Bradley Beats West, 8-1, To Wrap Up Impressive Regular Season

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central wrapped up its regular season on Tuesday with an 8-1 non-district baseball victory over Knoxville West at Toby McKenzie Baseball Complex. In their final tune-up for the District 5-3A tournament that starts on Wednesday at Cleveland High School, the Bears improved to 23-6 and rode the five-hit pitching of Jacob Moses (3-2) to the impressive win ... (click for more)