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Gov. Haslam signing the James Lee Atwood, Jr., Law (Resource: WMC Action News 5)MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Pain is Michael Stevens' lover for life.

"i have had eight surgeries, " stated the Bartlett, Tennessee guy, wincing through physical therapy. "I'll never have the ability to go back to work."

He'll never ever go back to act as an AT&T lineman. That's what he had been performing - orange cones forming a border around their company vehicle on brand new Brunswick Rd. in Bartlett Jan. 9 - when Pizarro Wesley of Memphis veered off the road and directly into Stephens while he stood within truck's left front quarter-panel.

The influence severed Stephens's correct leg below the knee.

Wesley, a Shelby County deputy jailer, pleaded accountable to failure to control his automobile, driving on a suspended permit, and operating without insurance coverage. He paid a $250 fine, got his permit reinstated - and he reaches keep their work as a deputy jailer.

"i need to deal with this every day. I am through adequate, " Wesley said.

"their life has not yet altered one little bit, " clicked Stephens. "He is however employed by Shelby County as a jailer. Mine has changed dramatically - forever - this is why man driving on a suspended permit with no insurance. It is absurd."

It's the story we have duplicated here over and over again: Reckless, uninsured driver destroys residential property. Injures somebody. Or eliminates somebody.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed their title exactly in danger to try and stop it all.

Wednesday, Haslam finalized the James Lee Atwood, Jr., Law, the essential intense bundle of penalties resistant to the condition's uninsured motorists since necessary obligation insurance was required in Tennessee in 1977.

Efficient July 1, what the law states will:

* Raise the misdemeanor good for violating Tennessee's financial duty (evidence of insurance coverage) law from $100 to $300.

* Authorize the development of a statewide insurance confirmation program that will locate uninsured motorists through their particular vehicle registrations. Fine income, approximated at $2.8 million, would assist fund this program, which will be created and managed by the Tennessee Department of income. This system would proceed with the Insurance Industry Committee on car Administration's tracking design and would not be implemented before Jan. 1, 2017.

"we must have enough time to develop an analogous system to vehicle registration, " stated Tennessee Department of Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts. "we shall not eliminate the idea of having a third-party develop it. Like, we don't desire to hire extra condition workers when a private contractor could handle that, but the legislation provides that versatility."

* Create a rising schedule of fines on motorists determined becoming uninsured through the confirmation system. The utmost punishment will be suspension of these registrations and seizure of the tags, with a $300 reinstatement charge.

* provide authorities divisions the discretion to tow the vehicles of drivers cited for infraction of financial responsibility law.

"we'd over 40, 000 crashes just last year, which one party or even the other, or sometimes both, were uninsured. Which means this is a substantial revision to our rule, " stated TN Rep. William Lamberth, (R) Sumner County, one of many law's main sponsors.

Tennessee passed a mandatory proof responsibility insurance law in 1977. It entails Tennessee motorists to carry minimal quantities of responsibility: $25, 000 for example damage or death, $50, 000 for many injuries or demise, and $15, 000 for residential property harm. Nevertheless the penalty for violating the law is a misdemeanor fine of $100.

As a result, Tennessee is 6th in the country for the quantity of uninsured motorists. Twenty-three % of their driving populace - almost a million motorists - tend to be uninsured, based on Lamberth and to Above 30, 000 Memphis motorists were reported for operating without insurance coverage last year, based on the Memphis City legal Clerk's workplace. 8, 000 of those did not have a legitimate permit.

Insurance resources suggested the new legislation may help support and sometimes even lower auto insurance premiums for consumers with exceptional driving documents.

"at the best, it'll end the increase of premiums, " stated Memphis independent insurance professional Bennita Wade. "we are considering 30 to 40 per cent of claims that individuals see (in Shelby County) having already been uninsured motorists statements. It can surely supply the companies an incentive and a motive to put up rates in which they truly are."

The balance is termed after James Lee Atwood, Jr., of Memphis. Final July, an uninsured driver killed the guaranteed 30-year-old Memphis guy in an accident on Shelby Dr. in Southeast Memphis.

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