A personal injury from a car collision can be devastating. When another driver causes the crash and hurts you, he or she should take responsibility for your injuries. In Alabama, drivers are required to have liability insurance to protect others from their negligence. That’s the law. It’s important for our protection as responsible drivers.

The problem is that for many years, the police were unable to verify that drivers actually had insurance coverage. In Alabama, the problem with uninsured drivers causing personal injury to others on our highways was especially bad. A recent study indicated that Alabama had the 6th highest rate of uninsured drivers. To put that in perspective, it is estimated that currently 22 percent of Alabama’s private vehicles don’t follow the mandatory insurance law.

Beginning in 2013, Alabama will have an online verification system for law enforcement. Now, the police officer can check insurance coverage at the same time he checks the driving record of an individual. Alabama officials say the online system is ready.

This is an important development. The injuries and damages caused by uninsured drivers on our highways harm all of us. Those injuries devastate the victim and his or her family. But, the damage goes beyond just the accident victim. All of us pay the costs of accidents caused by drivers who are uninsured.