California Considers Legislation to Reward Driving Less

Traffic on Freeway Photo

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California State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is proposing legislation that would allow insurance companies to lower rates for drivers that cut back on drive time, which could come in effect as early as next year. Two kinks still need to be worked out. The first that drivers would have to prove that they are in fact driving less, either by supplying maintenance receipts or odometer readings. A GPS or other electronic device is not part of the program. The second: the program would be voluntary for insurance companies to adopt. Though some insurance companies already offer a similar program so it would be up to customers to encourage their provider to get on board.

Benefits include fewer cars on the road (obviously) so less traffic, fewer traffic accidents, less pollution and customers would save money both on gas and insurance. Environmental Defense Fund reports that if 1/3 of Californians join the program, it would save 55 million tons of CO2 by 2020, equal to removing 10 million cars from the road. In 2000, California had 23.4 million registered vehicles and drivers logged 280 billion miles annually. No word yet on whether this will be linked to improved public transit programs or other alternative driving campaigns. Poizner is a possible GOP candidate for the next California Governator in 2010.:KPBS::CA Air Resources Board
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