HIALEAH (CBS4) – We all hate the sound of a police siren behind us.  But if you’re one of those drivers who is fed up with rising auto insurance bills, take heart, something is being done to fight it.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has reported a disturbing rise in the use of fake auto insurance cards by drivers in South Florida.    Since it is often difficult for a police officer to verify that the proof of insurance presented to them during a traffic stop or crash is legitimate, drivers who use fake ones basically have a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

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That wasn’t the case on Wednesday when representatives from nearly two dozen insurance companies who offer auto coverage in the state staffed a command center to assist Hialeah police officers verify insurance cards.  If the card came back as a phony, the driver was arrested and charged with a third degree felony.

Karon Martin was pulled over for a malfunctioning tail light.  Her policy was checked and it was fine.  Martin said what frustrates her, and others who pay their auto insurance bill, is that too many drivers get behind the wheel without any coverage at all.

“Insurance investigators say every year, you pay 50 dollars more for your insurance because of other people,” CBS4’s Ted Scouten told Martin.

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“I know,” said Marin, “I’ve noticed, we’ve had State Farm forever and it goes up every 6 months, it goes up.”

The NICB’s Fred Burkhardt said drivers should be furious to know that uninsured drivers are getting a free ride and that they, along with scam artists, are causing your premiums to sky rocket.

“They should be very mad,” Martin said, “Because quite honestly, I would say to you, ‘Will you give me $50 right now, will you give me $100 right now just because I’m Fred’.  Your answer is ‘No!  I’m not going to do that.’  What we’re doing is giving people 50 or a hundred dollars for the crime that they’re committing.”

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Wednesday’s crackdown is not just a one time deal.  Others will be held around South Florida throughout the year.  So far this year there has been a half a dozen crackdowns in Miami-Dade and Broward.  Drivers can expect at least two more before the year’s end.

Ted Scouten