State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) today decried the passage of House Bill (HB) 279, legislation that prohibits uninsured motorists from collecting noneconomic damages as the result of an auto accident, saying it disproportionately affects low-income and minority citizens.

“This bill is wages economic warfare against families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Ashford. “We already have penalties in place for those who drive uninsured. Ohio should be focused on protecting everyone’s right to be treated equally and fairly, not allowing individuals to continue to cycle through the justice system because they cannot afford basic necessities.”

Under HB 279, uninsured drivers who are victims of an automobile collision would be prohibited from collecting intangible damages, such as compensation for pain, suffering and mental anguish. Rep. Ashford and critics of the bill argue that the legislation unduly punishes struggling Ohioans just because they are unable to afford automobile insurance. 

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration. 

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