• 57°

Freeze column: Driving safely should pay off

By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
Driving safely for years should pay off
A few days ago, I was rushing from one meeting to another.
I was already late for the second meeting, and was on my cell phone at the same time. In a hurry while driving west on Brenner Avenue, I saw an opportunity to cut the corner just a little bit as I turned onto Merritt.
When I first looked, there was not a car in the intersection but that soon changed. I had made my commitment to turn a little short, while keeping my conversation going on the phone.
A gray car then pulled into the intersection and quickly blew the horn at me, so I swerved over to make it past the car. Now I was more frustrated, but soon realized how dumb it was to make such an unsafe movement. Turns out the car was driven by my cousin, Troy Anne Donahue, who was on the way back from a business luncheon.
So not only was I frustrated and hurried, but embarrassed. I will admit to being a distracted driver sometimes, but have made a promise to myself to improve on that. There could have been an accident, and it would have been my fault.
One other bad habit is my regular effort to look at the vehicles around me to see the drivers and what they are doing. People are doing the usual assortment of strange things, like applying makeup and even once in a while reading something. By far the leading activity is something to do with cell phones. Not that I can say a lot, but by looking down and dialing, reading, or texting, concentration definitely wavers. My promise is to do much better. Maybe this column will cause a few others to think the same way.
I recently became aware of the North Carolina Safe Driver Tax or Clean Risk Surcharge. First to admit that I had a few accidents and tickets in my early driving years, there have been no tickets in the past 25 years. While very thankful of that fact, I hope it won’t be bad luck to mention it here. My renewed effort at concentration and focus should help.
Those ticket-free years should carry a lot of benefits, and the last thing I expected was to be taxed for having a good driving record. Too many North Carolina are doing just that.
North Carolina Senate Bill 477 and House Bill 834 are currently proposed to do away with the Clean Risk Surcharge. Did you know that safe drivers pay much of the insurance costs for high risk drivers? Neither did I. What really got my attention is that in 2011, there will be a shortfall of $132 million which should be paid by the more dangerous drivers, and guess who will make that up too? The Clean Risk Surcharge doesn’t show up on your insurance bill either. If the two legislative bodies can agree, then about 85 percent of all safe drivers will see a reduction in their auto insurance bills. Both bills propose an elimination of the “safe driver tax” over 5-7 years. It amazes me that there is such a tax at all, but even more to hear that it should be eliminated over such an extended period of time.
Though the clean risk surcharge averages 7 percent of a safe driver’s bill, it can range as high as 10 percent. State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin pointed out that there are too many North Carolina drivers in the high risk pool. More than 1.2 million N.C. drivers are considered high risk, by far the largest amount in the nation. The Insurance Federation of North Carolina backs the Senate bill to eliminate the tax. Plans are to gradually reduce the amount of drivers classified as high risk, eventually reducing the need for the Clean Risk Surcharge.
For my part, I hope to still be a candidate for that complete rate reduction, even though it won’t happen right away. It really helps to pay attention while driving. For more information, go to www.stopthesafedrivertax.com.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Dukeville lead testing results trickle in, more participation needed

Education

Faith Academy interviewing staff, preparing site for fall opening

News

Volunteers work around obstacles, alter procedures to offer free tax services to those in need

Education

Education shoutouts

Local

Retired Marine gets recognition for toy collection efforts

Local

March issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Education

Five get Dunbar School Heritage Scholarships

Education

Education briefs: Salisbury Academy fourth-graders think big as inventors

Education

Bakari Sellers keynote speaker at Livingstone College Founder’s Day program

Nation/World

Biden aims to distribute masks to millions in ‘equity’ push

Nation/World

Chief: Capitol Police were warned of violence before riot

Nation/World

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

Nation/World

FDA says single-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson prevents severe COVID

High School

Coaches, lawmakers react to governor’s order expanding sporting event capacity

Coronavirus

Three new COVID-19 deaths, positives remain below triple digits

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces end to curfew, changes to restrictions affecting bars, high school sports

Crime

Blotter: Two charged after call about package

Crime

Salisbury Police investigating two shootings

Crime

Chase involving Kernersville man ends in woods behind Carson High School

News Main

North Rowan girls end season with playoff loss to Murphy

Education

Rowan-Salisbury EC department plunges in place after raising $1,300 for Special Olympics

Nation/World

Tiger Woods injured in car crash, has surgery on legs

Local

Local stakeholders set goals, direction to tackle city’s housing issues

Education

RSS board talks future of Henderson Independent School