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The Maryland plan is an effort to relate the cost of no fault auto insurance to those who drive on the roads and directly cause the losses, eliminating the overly generalized rating categories that lumped individual drivers into groups. Compare sr22 auto insurance quotes.

Insurance premiums would be rated entirely on the personal driving record of each car-owner. As accidents and driving records would be inseparably linked, the object would be to bring to life again the incentive to drive safely.

The deterrent would not be a potential lawsuit but an increase in the cost of purchasing automobile insurance. The attainment of the highest premium level would result in automatic loss of license. The Maryland plan is a total plan that includes as well a program for upgrading road safety and law enforcement, all within the same administrative framework.

Maryland has formulated an unusual method for paying for this protection. Unlike premiums paid to a private company, there would be no single premium payments. The Maryland plan would be funded by a surcharge on the purchase of license plates, which are a precondition to driving an automobile, fees from the purchase and renewal of driver’s licenses, and a premium of two cents per gallon placed upon gasoline purchased in the state.

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The “pay as you drive” program, although untested, makes a good deal of sense. It takes into account the responsibility for the high cost of sr22 auto insurance, placing it upon those who use the roads more than others. Insurance is connected to the model and size of automobiles, with the owners of those that have greater horsepower and that use more gasoline paying more. This may encourage the purchase of smaller, less powerful cars as an added safety incentive. Also the price of insurance is paid at increasing levels in small painless installments. The Maryland plan retains the tort system, which fits in comfortably with its merit-rating reform. While automobile insurance rating has been growing more impersonal elsewhere, Maryland has made an effort to tie the cost of driving to the individual.

Although the no-fault proponents have gone to great lengths to demonstrate the futility of locating fault in automobile accidents, Massachusetts in 1969 alone recorded over 200,000 moving motor vehicle violations, including speeding, driving so as to endanger life or property, driving under the influence of alcohol, and other clear-cut acts of highway irresponsibility. Is it possible to deny that an individual who ignores a stop sign and causes serious injury should not be held morally and legally responsible for the damages he causes? Another way of making that individual pay for his carelessness is to deny him recovery from benefits available from a tort system. In 1969, over 60,000 automobile-related deaths occurred, of which 30,000 were directly attributable to the use of alcohol. We come back to a sharp disagreement with Keeton and O’Connell, who would dismiss the concept of moral fault as irrelevant in automobile accident compensation.

The effort here has been to bring the law of negligence into harmony with current social trends. Those who are convinced that the fault system has a place in the future of automobile insurance law must insist that the rights of innocent victims be protected. Far from being at the end of of the road, the tort system has a long and challenging way to go. The law of negligence is not dead or even dying, but it has been asleep for a long time. The adversary system can no longer stand still and expect to survive the effort to substitute cheap insurance for equity.

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