Drivers be warned! Dallas police are on the lookout for a different kind of offender – those driving without insurance.
A new city ordinance mandates that cars be towed as a consequence for no coverage. The ordinance has been in effect for nine days and police are already calling it successful.Among the cars in the City of Dallas impound lots are those that were brought in because the driver didn't have insurance. In fact, in just the first nine days of the New Year, Dallas police said they towed 256 cars and that another 56 we're towed from accident sites.
Saturday was another busy day at the impound lots, where there was no shortage of people coming to claim their cars.
The new uninsured motorist ordinance makes it mandatory to at least have liability auto coverage. If uninsured drivers in Dallas are pulled over, or get into an accident, their cars can be impounded with no questions asked.
Most drivers who spoke to CBS 11 News said it's an expensive lesson learned and one they wish they could have avoided. "I didn't know it [the ordinance] was going to be enforced like that," said driver Demond Graves. "I heard it a couple times on the news but I didn't know it's was gonna be all like that."
Andrew Delara was among those busted for driving without insurance. "I was going to get insurance today, but they beat me to it!" he said.
Enforcement of the new ordinance has caught many off guard. "I'm sure some are still surprised when it happens to them, because it is something new," explained Lt. Andy Harvey with the Dallas Police Department.
Drivers are not only responsible for the cost of the tow, but also receive a $350 fine and are charged $20 a day, for every day their car is kept at the impound lot. The average cost of basic liability coverage is $36 a month.
The new ordinance could be making a difference. One North Texas insurance agent said she has seen an increase in the number of drivers getting policies since the end of last year.