A plan that charges motorists based on miles driven could cut fuel use, pollution and traffic as well as lower premiums, say backers. Opponents worry about privacy issues.
Called pay as you drive, the option is available from a few insurers in 34 states -- but not California -- as well as Canada, Japan and Europe.
The concept, if applied nationwide, would do a lot more than cut insurance bills, says a study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. Pay as you drive could create $52 billion in annual benefits from fewer accidents, reduced traffic and pollution, and less reliance on foreign oil, the study concludes.
So far, the measure is sailing through the California legislature with little opposition.