National campaign launched against uninsured drivers
Forty-three UK police forces will this week take part in a seven-day initiative aimed at reducing the number of uninsured drivers on the roads.
Operation Drive Insured was developed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) in partnership with the National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigation (NRPOII) committee and will see increased roads policing activity to detect and seize uninsured vehicles across regions.
Each year in the UK more than 130 people are killed and 26,000 are left injured in collisions caused by uninsured and untraced drivers, linking to nearly one in every five road traffic collisions.
Evidence also shows drivers without insurance are more likely to commit a ‘hit and run’ and be involved in other crimes, such as using a stolen vehicle, driving while disqualified or substance abuse.
MIB, which is funded by insurers and ultimately consumers to provide financial support to victims of uninsured and untraced collisions, paid out £322 million in compensation in 2019.
Figures from the Department for Transport indicate these collisions cost the economy a further £2 billion a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and property damage.
The number of claims for compensation from victims of uninsured drivers have fallen 26 per cent since 2016. However, with so many people suffering financial hardship due to the disruption of Covid-19, there are growing concerns that this could result in more people breaking the law and driving without insurance.
Commander Kyle Gordon, head of NRPOII, said: “Many people will see uninsured driving as a victimless crime at best, or as only impacting on the profits of large insurance companies at worst. This is not the case.
“We know from our work in roads policing that uninsured drivers are statistically significantly more likely to cause a death or injury on the road, which too often sadly brings devastation to victims, families and communities up and down the country. They are also frequently involved in wider road crime.”
“Protecting the public and keeping our roads safe for everyone is our priority and removing uninsured drivers from our roads helps to do just that. This is why all police forces are acting to take uninsured drivers off the road every single day.”
Last year 137,410 vehicles were seized for no insurance, which equated to one seizure every four minutes.