63 people every day are injured by an uninsured driver
23,000 people injured and 160 killed every year by uninsured drivers, that’s the hard facts.
The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) run what’s called the “Stay Insured Campaign” which encourages drivers never to drive without insurance and works towards reducing the number of uninsured drivers on our roads.
As part of the campaign, they produce statistics that give the best indication available, of the number of motorists who are breaking the law in this way and the areas of the country where the practice is most common and the latest figures have just been released and frankly despite a small reduction in the numbers, they don’t make very good reading, how could they with over 1.5 million drivers still deliberately breaking the law by driving whilst uninsured.
So let’s take a look at the crime itself, the areas where it’s most prevalent and the technology that exists to catch the people that are breaking the law in this way. Let’s also question, why when driving around 30,000 miles a year in cars that seemingly “on the face of it” are not insured that we never get stopped by the police?
I guess most of the cretins who don’t get their cars insured, say it’s because they can’t afford it. They probably believe insurance is only necessary because it’s required law that and they probably think they will never be involved in an accident and so its only the insurance companies that are loosing out, so that’s ok, it’s a victimless crime.
Victimless crime eh! These horrifying injury and fatality figures mean that 63 people every day are injured by an uninsured driver and every couple of days, someone dies or putting it more accurately, is killed by the scum that do this and it could be me, you or a member of your family. 63 injuries a day, doesn’t sound like too good odds to me!
In addition to the human cost, many thousands of others have their cars or their property damaged and find they can’t claim compensation.
So this is a very serious crime and would you like to know the countries hot spots.
Using Post Codes as the measure, Barkerend in Bradford is worst and it’s been that way for the 13th year, so the local bobby’s are clearly doing a good job around there it seems? West Gorton in Manchester comes second, Small Heath in Birmingham picks up 3rd spot, whilst Handsworth, again in Birmingham takes 4th position, with Saltely which is also Birmingham taking 5th.
Clearly, there is a problem in the West Midlands, however, once the figures are calculated regionally, the picture changes a little, with London’s Metropolitan area being responsible for 11% of these crimes, Merseyside in 2nd at 10%, with Greater Manchester in 3rd place at 8%, West Midlands in 4th with 6% and finally, West Yorkshire in 5th, also at 6%
They say the numbers of uninsured drivers have dropped from 1.8 million to 1.5 million in the past 4 years, but surely you’ve got to ask yourself what’s going on here, and if the Police are really targeting this, because with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology either being fitted in patrol cars or located by the road side, it seems difficult to see how can drivers get away with this, as the system links directly to the information stored on the motor insurance data base, which holds records of 34 million insured vehicles and should instantly report or flag up if a passing vehicle is uninsured or not.
Clearly, with 1.5 million out there still breaking the law, something isn’t working properly and when you consider the awful price paid by society for this crime, it should be a priority. The ANPR technology exists to identify these offenders making it as easy to apprehend as a burglar walking around with thief tattooed across his forehead, and the penalties for the crime are substantial, so why can 1.5 million still get away with it?
Let me tell you our experience, and then perhaps you can draw your own conclusions. We insure our cars under a trade policy and because we deal with thousands of cars a year, our insurance does not specify individual cars, although anything we drive, is fully insured under the terms of the policy, however, it will not show up on the “Motor Insurance Data Base” as being insured. Despite this and after asking colleagues, who like me, drive vehicles under this policy, not a single person I have asked had been stopped and checked and in my case, I drive around 30,000 miles a year, in a seemingly uninsured car. Don’t you find that strange?
Police powers allow them to stop a car and if its found to be uninsured, to seize the vehicle and indeed Police report that they seized over 180,000 vehicles last year and more than 600,000 since the laws were introduced in 2005. As well as have the car seized, the driver gets a fixed penalty of £200 and 6 points on their license and a charge of £150 for car recovery charges and even then, you can only get the car back by producing a valid certificate of insurance to prove the car is now insured. If the vehicle isn’t reclaimed within 14 days of seizure (and 40% are not) it could be crushed or sold. Last year, 194,000 people were convicted in Court for driving whilst uninsured and it’s said, that’s one conviction every 3 minutes.
So it would be glib to say no ones doing anything to stop this, as clearly they are, but when you look deeper at this and the number of deaths an injuries it causes, it real should become even more of a priority.
However, hope might be at hand, following the introduction of “Continuous Insurance Enforcement” (CIE) which from early 2011 will effectively require a vehicle either to be declared off road, by completing a SORN (statutory off road notice) or to be insured, so it seems there isn’t any way to fiddle this and put simply, it will be illegal to keep a vehicle and not SORN it or alternately, insure it.
This new law isn’t going to rely on you being spotted by the Police, and from early 2011, letters will be sent to every registered keeper with vehicles that have no SORN, yet also appear to have no insurance. The letter will give the registered keeper options of declaring their vehicle off road (SORN), or purchase an appropriate motor insurance policy
Any registered keeper, who fails to take action, will get a fixed penalty of £100, as well as having their vehicle clamped and ultimately, prosecution could follow, resulting in a fine of up to £1000.
In closing, none of us like paying our insurance, particularly if we have never had an accident, or made a claim in years or years (if ever) but that’s the way it works, but it must be very difficult for young drivers and whilst I know that young, or inexperienced drivers pose the most risk, it must seem unfair when they buy a cheap £500 banger as their first car, to be confronted with an insurance bill that could easily be in the £1000’s so its easy to imagine some of them might take the risk.
Fact is, that driving without insurance isn’t just about you, its about everyone else on the road and it’s something we all need to do, to make the system work, because all of us could find ourselves victims of this crime and none of us would like it, so the sooner drivers realise that the penalties for driving without insurance outweigh the risks, the safer our roads will be for everyone.”