Madden: Drivers Who Leave Licenses, Registration Or Insurance Cards At Home Aren’t Criminals

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden designed to amend current law to reduce fines for driving without proof of a license, registration or an insurance card was approved today by the Senate Transportation Committee.

“This legislation is designed to ease the penalties for drivers who simply leave home and forget to grab their license, registration or insurance card on the way out the door – these people aren’t hardened criminals, they’ve just made a mistake,” said Senator Madden. D-Camden and Gloucester, who also sits on the Senate Transportation panel. “As a former State Trooper, I have to say that we should not be in the business of imposing unnecessary penalties on good citizens. Instead, we must focus our energies on keeping the streets safe from criminals, and this legislation would allow officers to do just that.”

Senator Madden’s measure, S-1682, would reduce the fine for being stopped without a driver’s license, registration or insurance card from $150 to $75. Drivers caught without an insurance card would be issued a summons, requiring them to appear in court with proof of insurance. Failure to appear in court could result in impoundment of the vehicle.

Under current law, drivers who are stopped and cannot produce proof of insurance are given 24 hours to provide the document to the police station that issued the citation.

Of the fines collected, $25 from each fine would go toward the State’s Uninsured Motorist Prevention Fund.

This measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.