Texas is heading in the right direction when it comes to getting unlicensed drivers off the road, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  One in six Bexar County residents does not have insurance, that is down from one in three ten years ago.


  But John Greeley with the Texas Department of Insurance tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board the problem remains serious.


  "We're talking about four million cars without insurance, or about 20% of all the cars on the road in Texas," he said.


 The state has implemented a series of programs over the past ten years designed to make it harder and harder for motorists to drive without insurance.  Proof of insurance must be shown when getting a car registration renewed or when getting a car inspected.  Police in many cities, including San Antonio, now have the authority to immediately tow and impound a vehicle which is found to be without insurance.


  The major development is the implementation of the 'Texas Sure' system, which includes proof of insurance information in the vehicle identification that police can access by matching a license plate.  That, for the first time, allows officers to pull over vehicles specifically for not having insurance.


  But Greeley says insurance fraud remains a major problem.


  "Such as using counterfeit proof of insurance cards, or obtaining insurance to get a card and then cancelling it," he said.


  The largest number of uninsured motorists in the state are in LaSalle County, which is the Cotulla area south of San Antonio.  Greeley says in LaSalle County, one in four motorists is uninsured.


  A drop in auto theft cases is another reason why the number of people on the road driving uninsured vehicles is down.


  But the continuation of the Texas Driver Responsibility Program is preventing the number of uninsured motorists from falling even further.  A misguided attempt in 2003 to balance the state budget by slapping huge 'surcharges' onto motorists who commit various types of violations has forced some drivers to drive without registration, which means they also don't have insurance.