No. 1 crime in city about to cost you more money


State law change to result in 25 percent increase in car insurance

Driving in Youngstown may be much more dangerous than you realize. News Outlet reporter Steve Wilaj brings us the details.


When headlines scream shootings and robberies, it may come as a surprise that the top violation is driving without a license

The No. 1 crime in the city of Youngstown is people driving without a license. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

That’s Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Kobley. She says her court deals with unlicensed and uninsured motorists at least 10 times a day.

Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley says it’s an epidemic.

It is a problem. I don’t know about the whole state, but I’ve always felt in Youngstown, its – I don’t know the percentage – but I’m sure it’s fairly high.

American Family Insurance agent Timothy Cearfoss estimates as many as 45 percent of Youngstown’s drivers are unlicensed and uninsured.

When they did a random compliance check, what they found was four out of 10 people didn’t have insurance.

That mean’s Youngstown’s insured drivers are at risk.

If they hit you, you’re going to be financially responsible for your own damages. And that drives everybody’s rates up.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, insured motorists pay an extra $40 to $50 per year for uninsured drivers. Kobley says some motorists simply can’t afford insurance.

If you have to choose between food on the table and insurance, people are going to put food on the table.

A new state law dictates current rates will increase by at least 25 percent in December. Cearfoss speculates the number of uninsured drivers will grow.

If people driving couldn’t afford insurance before, it’s going to get worse.

Chief Foley again.

I don’t know if there’s any answer to it. I really don’t.

He wants to help fix the problem, but admits it is difficult.

Unless they develop some type of system that your insurance provider would have to notify the state once you drop your coverage, that your license is automatically suspended.

Whatever the solution, Cearfoss says it’s apparent changes must be made.

Do I have the secret answer to it? No. I know you’d probably upset a lot of people since there’s a lot of them driving without insurance. But things have to change.

For, I’m Steve Wilaj.