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Ticket Insurance: National Motorists Assn. Offers Protection for Traffic ViolatorsAired May 29, 2000 - 1:24 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: There are more than 28 million Americans on the roads this holiday, and no telling how many police officers. If you're worried about getting a ticket, a group in Wisconsin has begun a program to help drivers lash out against their traffic tickets.
Here is CNN's Patty Davis.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Worried about speed traps?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got a lead foot. I get a couple here and there.
DAVIS: The National Motorists Association says: Worry no more. It's selling a kind of insurance against traffic tickets.
ERIC SKRUM, NATL. MOTORISTS ASSN.: If a member paid us $5 per month, they would receive a pre-paid limit of $100 towards any traffic ticket that they would receive as long as there were points towards that ticket.
DAVIS: They're called pre-paid traffic tickets. And while it can't do anything about those points against your license, the group reimburses you for tickets and court costs if you're caught speeding, tailgating, or driving drunk or recklessly. There are no questions about driving records and no limits on the number of traffic tickets. That is, until the driver's license is suspended or revoked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't get tickets. I don't need it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it would be a good idea for ages like 16 to 25 or 30 that maybe get more frequent tickets.
DAVIS: The group, which advocates motorists' rights, believes speed limits are in general too low, traffic laws often unreasonable. And it hopes the novel program will encourage drivers to challenge the system and their tickets in court.
But critics say the pre-paid tickets could encourage chronic violators such as drunk drivers. ALEXANDER WEISS, NORTHWESTERN UNIV. CENTER FOR PUBLIC SAFETY: They may see this as an opportunity to drink and drive a few extra times because at least one of those times, or two of those times, might be paid for under this plan.
DAVIS: So far, the program is drawing more interest from regulators than the public. The association has sold just 13 policies.
(on camera): Insurance regulators in Wisconsin have launched a formal inquiry into whether the group should be licensed as an insurer. But the National Motorists Association says it's not selling insurance, just a service to help drivers fight what it considers unjust traffic tickets.
Patty Davis, CNN, Waunakee, Wisconsin.
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