Driving home his point

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During an annual “State of the Department of Motor Vehicles” presentation this week to a state Senate subcommittee, current executive director Kevin Shwedo uncorked an amazingly positive statistic: More people — an extra 20 percent of drivers — now have car insurance since a 2008 law that increased penalties for driving without insurance.

Shwedo

Shwedo

He told senators the percentage of drivers in the state with car insurance rose from 73 percent in 2008 to 93 percent now.

“That is substantial growth,” Shwedo told the subcommittee, referring to the impact of toughening the law.

What the DMV doesn’t yet know, he said, is how much money the law has saved the rest of South Carolina in terms of not having to fund the state’s uninsured motorists trust fund or from lower insurance rates.

Shwedo, the retired deputy commanding officer at the U.S. Army Training Center at Fort Jackson, was so animated during his presentation, one of the senators serving on the subcommittee wondered if “Jolt Cola” was back on the market.

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