By Jay Fidell
Here's a great traffic idea that reader Bill Haig suggested to me today in response to my column on coordinated traffic signals:
No insurance, no gas is such a simple idea and tech workable with a little effort from the gas retailers and insurance companies serving Hawaii. It must be a total commitment as well. Hawaii could lead the nation in this.
Having worked with TheBus in another life handling marketing duties, and knowing a bit about traffic in Hawaii, I would like to propose more low hanging fruit to reduce our traffic problem. Get uninsured cars off the road. The way you do this is to require auto insurance at the pump. No insurance, no gas. All insurance companies would provide a mag-strip plastic card which would be inserted into the credit card mechanism at the pump. If the person has up-to-date auto insurance, the next step is allowed to pump gas by credit card or cash at the cashier booth. I call it the COSTCO model.
The insurance commission estimates there are up to 20% of the cars on Hawaii roads daily which are not insured. An advertiser article recently said this is going up in our down economy. Okay, let’s say only 10% of our 600,000 registered cars are taken off the road with this simple no insurance, no gas plan. That’s twice the number of cars the rail will take off (34,000 at last estimates.) Oh, we currently pay for these uninsured drivers in our insurance. That addition cost to our yearly bill drops too.
I tried this year to no avail to get no insurance, no gas passed in the legislature making it mandatory that insurance companies and oil companies do their part.
Bill Haig, Ph.D.