"Driving with no insurance is not a victimless crime," say police ahead of crackdown

Evidence shows the uninsured are more likely to be involved in hit and runs and other crimes

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:58 am

Uninsured drivers be in for a shock as Northamptonshire Police get behind a national campaign aimed at adding to 100,000 vehicles already seized across the UK this year.

The Safer Roads and Road Crime Teams are leading a week-long initiative starting on Monday (November 15) as part of the Force’s commitment to reducing numbers of people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads.

Operation Drive Insured will see an increase in policing activity in a bid to detect and seize uninsured vehicles.

More than 100,000 vehicles a year are seized by police for having no insurance — including this one

Developed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in partnership with the National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigations committee, the week has become an annual date in the road safety calendar.

Figures from MIB show that so far this year more than 26,000 people were injured by uninsured or hit-and-run drivers in the UK.

Inspector Tony Kennedy, of the county Central Operations Team, said: “Reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads remains our priority and removing uninsured drivers from our roads helps to do just that.

“Using Automated Number Plate Recognition, we will be carrying out a combination of mobile and static road checks, throughout Operation Drive Insured.

The week-long campaign aims to crackdown on uninsured drivers

“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 but this is not the case.

“However, we witness far too often, the devastation a road collision has on those involved, their families and the wider communities but when this also involves an uninsured driver, there is also the financial costs associated with it.”

Evidence from MIB shows drivers without insurance are more likely to commit a ‘hit and run’ and be involved in other crimes — be it using a stolen vehicle, driving while disqualified or without a valid driving licence. Some are also caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

One of the reasons for this is that unlike insured drivers, those who are uninsured aren’t motivated to display safer behaviour and meet the basic legal requirements designed to keep policy costs down.

MIB requires £400million each year to provide financial support to those who are involved in road collisions with uninsured and hit-and-run drivers, which is funded by insurers and ultimately consumers.

Drivers without insurance face their vehicle being seized and potentially crushed, along with a £300 fixed penalty notice and six licence points. They can also be referred to court and face an unlimited fine and a driving ban.

Uninsured convictions also show on basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks which can impact employment prospects.

■ Anyone can check that their vehicle appears as insured on the MID database for free.