Everyone despises uninsured drivers, in fact short of drunk drivers, they have to be the worst and most dangerous road users around and they need to be stopped.
However changes in the law designed to do that are going to mean that as usual, the honest law abiding citizen is going to be inconvenienced in an effort to prevent a minority of thoughtless morons from breaking the law.
The changes in the law say that from today, its now legally required that if you own a car, van, truck, motor home and even motor cycle, you must keep them insured at all times, or declare them off road by completing a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice). That’s your choices, insure or SORN, nothing else will suffice.
The DVLA maintain vehicle records, which they will compare with the records held on the Motor Insurance Data Base and this should reveal what vehicles are insured or not and owners of vehicles that don’t comply with the new law, may face a £100 fixed penalty fine, plus their vehicle could be clamped, seized and then destroyed. Should the matter however go to court, fines of up to £1,000 are possible.
This new law is in addition to the powers the Police already have to seize an uninsured vehicle that’s being used on the road and fine its driver.
Motorists that haven’t complied with these new laws will suddenly find themselves to be “offending motorists” and liable to a penalty and from late June 2011 they will be receiving letters warning them that their vehicles are uninsured and unless they SORN it or insure it, they will be fined.
It’s a shame all this is necessary, as somebody with say a classic car, who taxes it for the year, but only insures it when it emerges from the garage for the summer months now has to swear the SORN, which means where presently, they could have just rung their insurers got the vehicle insured and been on the road in minutes, that they will now need to re-tax their vehicle before they can do that.
Should you buy a new car and transfer your present insurance to the new vehicle, it will mean that if you still have your old vehicle (even if it’s parked up your drive way and not going to be used), you have to immediately swear a SORN, so even if you are trying to sell the car, its no longer a case of waiting until it sells and transferring the responsibility to the new owner, you must do it straight away.
It’s said there are presently some 1.4 million uninsured vehicles in the UK and that uninsured and untraceable drivers are responsible for around 23,000 injuries each year and 160 deaths. Whilst I don’t quite understand how they arrive at the figure, it’s claimed that uninsured drivers add about £30 to every motorists insurance premium and that equates to more than £400 million pounds a year in additional premiums.
There will be a national advertising campaign to make everyone aware of the new laws.