The Government has moved a step closer to a new way of tackling uninsured drivers after Road Safety Minister Mike Penning revealed new regulations in Parliament.
Under these new rules called Continuous Insurance Enforcement it will be an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, rather than just to drive when uninsured. The DVLA will be allowed to take action against owners who ignore warnings to get their vehicle insured.
Clamp, seize and destroy
Working together with the Motor Insurers Bureau, the DVLA will identify uninsured vehicles and send a letter to the keeper, telling them that the vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning that they will be fined unless they take action.
If the vehicle is not insured, the keeper will receive a fine of 100. Then, if it remains uninsured and regardless of whether the fine is paid the new regulations will give the DVLA the power to clamp, seize and destroy the vehicle.
The vehicle will only be released when the keeper provides evidence that it is insured.
Vehicles with a valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) will not be required to be insured.
1.4 million drivers uninsured
Latest estimates put the number of uninsured motorists at around 1.4 million. The penalty for driving without insurance is a maximum fine of 5000 and 6-8 penalty points, although most offenders are fined much less than the maximum - making it cheaper than paying for insurance. Around 242,000 offenders are convicted for uninsured driving every year.
Mike Penning said: Uninsured drivers injure 23,000 people each year and add 30 to every responsible motorists premium, so we need to do everything we can to keep them off the roads. These new powers will help us to take targeted action while freeing up police time to deal with the hard core of offenders.