Police forces around the UK have launched a nationwide operation to clamp down on uninsured drivers as part of a partnership between law enforcement and insurance bodies.
Road policing units from all 43 UK forces will be taking part in Operation Drive Insured, which, from Monday October 26, will see a week of increased activity to detect and seize uninsured vehicles.
Every year more than 130 people are killed and 26,000 others injured in crashes caused by uninsured drivers and the insurance industry pays out more than £320 million to victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.
The Department for Transport estimates these collisions cost the economy a further £2 billion a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and property damage.
The insurance industry paid out £322m to victims of uninsured or untraced drivers in 2019 (Photo: Shutterstock)
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which is spearheading the operation along with the National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigation, says that uninsured drivers are also more likely to be involved in hit-and-run incidents and other crimes such as using a stolen vehicle, driving while disqualified or drink/drug-driving.
Anna Fleming, chief operating officer at MIB, said: “We’ve made great strides in getting more people to drive insured in recent years, but the sad reality is with Covid-19 putting so many people under financial strain, uninsured driving levels could creep up.
“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 brings devastation to victims, families and communities up and down the country.”
Last year, 137,410 vehicles were seized because they were being driven without insurance. The owners of seized vehicles then have to pay to recover them or face the prospect of their vehicle being crushed.
Anyone caught driving without insurance also faces a standard £300 fine and six penalty points but can be handed an unlimited fine and a driving ban if the case goes to court.