A million uninsured drivers are piling an extra £30 on the cost of legal driver’s car insurance as they pick up the £500 million a year tab for accidents involving criminal drivers.
Now, ministers are proposing a joined up system to catch uninsured drivers by putting every car in the country on a database – with uninsured drivers facing immediate £100 fines and having their cars seized and crushed in roadside checks.
The blitz is aimed at making the costs of motoring cheaper for drivers who obey the laws and to remove the menace on uninsured drivers – who are also more likely to have involvement in other crime and antisocial behaviour.
Ministers have acted after recent figures revealed the UK has higher levels of uninsured driving than many other western European countries.
Road safety minister Mike Penning is expected to green light the new law with a few weeks.
Motorists don’t have to drive to commit an offence
“We are working closely with the insurance companies to make it mandatory for vehicles to be insured,” he said.
“There are millions of vehicles on our roads that are not insured. People say, ‘Well, it’s sitting outside on the road outside my house. I’m not using it. It’s taxed but doesn’t need to be insured.’ It has to be insured, because if someone decides to use it even for an emergency they will not be covered.”
The new system will link the government’s DVLA vehicle database with insurance companies. For the first time, drivers do not have to be behind the wheel to commit an offence of keeping a vehicle without insurance.
The database will show car owners against insured vehicles – and if the records do not match, the listed owner will receive a warning letter.
If that does not lead to a policy being taken out, an automatic £100 fine is imposed and if the vehicle remains uninsured, it will be seized and crushed.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau claims 160 people are killed and 23,000 injured by uninsured drivers every year. And uninsured drivers are five times more likely to be involved in accidents, fail to comply with other road traffic laws and to be engaged in other criminal activity.
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