Traffic solution - no insurance, no gas

April 26th, 2009

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.

Posted in 1 | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Traffic solution - no insurance, no gas”

  1. Josh Maxwell:

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work :)

  2. zzzzzz:

    Pay at the Pump has been discussed in the past. Unfortunately, it has not had much support in the big square building.

    I think it's a good idea that would reduce traffic, not just by taking uninsured off the road, but by increasing the cost per gallon at the pump. Remember how much lighter traffic was back when gas was over $4 a gallon? A guy I know who manages a construction company told me high gas prices were better for his business, because his crews could spend more time working and less time in traffic.

  3. Jerry Levinson:

    Here's a cheaper and easier solution. Have you noticed how light traffic is when school is out? Very light, compared to when school is in, right? Well, the obvious solution ss to close all schools! No schools, no traffic. See how easy that was?

    OK, I'm kidding. But what about having all schools open at 9:00 am instead of 8:00? Think about it. Where do all those cars go when school is out? Are they going to work early? Late? Are they usually driven by someone who is dropping off the kids and then going home, not to work, so they don't need to be on the road when school is out?

    Another benefit from schools starting at 9:00 is the extra hour of sleep kids will get. So they will be more awake at the start of their school day.