Broward sheriff's deputies were out in full force Wednesday ticketing and arresting motorists who presented them with fake or invalid insurance cards.
The initiative dubbed "Operation 5.0" was aimed at cracking down on a crime that cost the average American family $950 a year.
" Florida ranks as the fifth highest state in the nation for uninsured motorist. Nearly one in four motorists is uninsured," said Col. Steve Kinsley.
During Wednesday's operation, deputies stopped motorists for traffic infractions and then asked for proof of insurance.
In unincorporated Broward County, deputy Jose Gonzalez stopped a female motorist after he says she was "driving with a 2-year-old in the back seat with no seatbelt on."
The driver did have valid insurance and was ultimately cited for the seatbelt violation.
Another driver who wants to be identified only as William also got a seatbelt ticket but says he agrees with what deputies are doing.
"I think its a good idea because I wouldn't want anybody to hit me that didn't have insurance," he said.
As deputies pulled motorists over, the National Insurance Crime Bureau or NICB helped them verify if the drivers had insurance coverage. At a Tamarac command post, insurance company representatives ran each insurance card to see if it was legitimate, expired or simply fraudulent.
On one occasion a representative blurted out "that's a bad policy."
She had just verified a stop made in Deerfield Beach had netted a fake card. At the scene deputy Steve Rossman showed NBC 6 the card saying "it was made up at home and printed off a printer. "
Deputies explain that with technology nowadays they are finding more and more of these fake cards.
In the Deerfield Beach case they determined the driver wasn't the owner of the car and probably had no clue of the fake document. She was cited but had they proven intent she would've been hauled away in handcuffs.
Deputy Marty Chastain says "presenting a fake or fraudulent card to us would be a third degree felony and you're probably going to go to jail. "