News In Focus
Uninsured drivers to face penalty for keeping car
The Government has announced a proposed change in the law to help police crack down on uninsured drivers.
Jim Fitzpatrick, Road Safety Minister at Westminster, said that in future it would be an offence to keep, as well as drive, an uninsured vehicle. Those caught with an uninsured vehicle could be fined up to £1,000 and the vehicle could be seized by the courts.
Records kept by the Motor Insurers Bureau will be cross-referenced with those at the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Those who are believed to own an uninsured vehicle will receive a letter warning them that it needs to be insured within a certain time period. Failure to do so will result in a £100 fine, with further action if the vehicle remains uninsured.
It is hoped that the new measure will reduce the number of people who drive without insurance – currently estimated at 6%, adding about £30 to motorists' premiums.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: "These tough new measures will leave uninsured drivers with nowhere to hide."
Paul Watters, head of public affairs at the Automobile Association, said his organisation would welcome any move that reduced the number of uninsured drivers on the roads.
The proposals are the subject of a consultation which can be accessed through the Department for Transport website http://www.dft.gov.uk, and which runs until 16 April.