The other day, one of our pastors was stopped by the police, who demanded to see his insurance papers. He had had insurance on the car, but it had expired the week before. The policeman got in his car and ordered him to drive downtown to the impoundment lot.
Our pastor, knowing the law and therefore knowing it was illegal for the car to be impounded for expired insurance, argued with him halfway downtown until the officer relented and asked to be let out at a certain street instead. He still wrote our pastor a ticket and told him to renew his insurance.
The pastor says the whole thing is a game – the insurance is issued by the state, so he doubts he would receive anything from the state in the event his car was stolen or damaged. Still, on the whole, he says he sees improvement in the system, since his new insurance papers were issued on the spot instead of taking 72 hours be “processed” through Port-au-Prince. (In reality, the processing time was a subtle way of demanding a bribe for faster service.) He says the government has managed to clean up some of the corruption that was previously in the system. He is thankful for small blessings.