KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Starting this week there are tougher laws to keep uninsured drivers off the roads in Tennessee.
Under the James Lee Atwood Jr. Law that goes into effect July 1, you’ll face a $300 fine. Beginning January 1, 2016, you can even lose your car if you’re caught driving without car insurance.
Don Lindsey with AAA says the goal of the law is to get more people to have valid car insurance in Tennessee.
“This will make it a lot harder to get away with driving without insurance. The penalties will go up, up to and including taking the car,” he said.More:Read the full text of the law [PDF]
He says Tennessee has the sixth highest uninsured motorist rate in the country, which can make rates go up for drivers who do keep valid car insurance.
“It is very dangerous not to have insurance in this state. It’s important that we look at that and do everything we can to cover ourselves financially when we’re out there driving,” Lindsey said.
Under the new law, the state is also working to create an online data base to help track uninsured drivers and not allow them to register their vehicles.
“It’s a very strong step that the state has taken and we hope that it will make the right difference. It’s something we haven’t seen in a very long time,” Lindsey said.
WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Knoxville Police Department about how they will be implementing the new law. They tell us they’re still working on the details.