This week around 35 police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are taking part in Operation Drive Insured (12-18 November 2018) in a week of enhanced operations to remove uninsured drivers from UK roads and help protect road users.
Uninsured drivers are often involved in a wide range of criminal activities. Every year the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) Police Helpline records hundreds of incidents where an uninsured driver is found without a valid driving licence or using an untaxed or stolen vehicle. Records also show a number of offenders are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Drivers without insurance are more dangerous than insured drivers and cause a high number of accidents. One contributing factor is because those driving with insurance are encouraged to display safer behaviour and meet road legal requirements to help keep policy costs down.
In 2017 MIB received 11,000 claims from victims of uninsured drivers, with hundreds of people who had suffered catastrophic, life changing injuries.
MIB supports victims of uninsured and hit and run drivers by providing a last resort for claims and compensation. The annual cost to compensate victims of uninsured drivers comes to over £100 million and is funded by the motor insurance premiums of all law-abiding motorists.
“A driver with no valid insurance has no legal right to be on the road and removing them undoubtedly makes roads safer. The increased activity during Operation Drive Insured should get more of these drivers off our roads.” – Neil Drane, Head of Enforcement at MIB.
Using data from the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – a central record of all UK motor insurance policies – police are using ANPR cameras to easily identify and stop motorists that appear to be uninsured. MIB’s police helpline supports roadside officers by investigating further and liaising with insurers to confirm whether there is valid insurance in place or not.
Any driver found without insurance during Operation Drive Insured is likely to have their vehicle seized, get six points on their licence, a £300 fine and could face court prosecution. Police also plan to carry out checks for a range of additional road traffic offences.
“In my experience, drivers who willingly use vehicles without insurance are often committing secondary offences. These range in seriousness from minor road traffic offences, to driving whilst disqualified and other crimes such as drug dealing and burglary. The effective enforcement of uninsured vehicles allows us to deny criminals the use of the road and prevent further offending. Operation Drive Insured is a perfect opportunity for us to target our resources.” – Simon Hills, Inspector for roads policing operations at Thames Valley Police.
If a member of the public suspects a person is driving without insurance, they can report it to their local police force or anonymously to CrimeStoppers.