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Clampdown on uninsured motorists hits new high

We’ve all delved deep in our own pockets to pay for our car insurance over the years. That’s why many of us welcome the recent seizure of the millionth uninsured vehicle from our roads.

Unfortunately, the fight against uninsured drivers is far from over. In many ways it’s only just begun in this country.

When West Midlands Police swooped on the millionth uninsured car the other month, it sent out a message that, at the very least, there is now very little compassion for drivers who think it’s okay to get behind the wheel without paying for car insurance.

Law-abiding young drivers sometimes have to pay £3,000 or more for their first policy – a cost that has been driven up by uninsured motorists; yet the typical fine for taking to the road without cover is only about £200.

Hearing about the million car being seized is obviously good news. But there are still around 1.2 million vehicles on the UK’s roads being driven without insurance – that’s roughly one motor out of every 25!

The AA reckons that since 2005, when police were given the authority to stop vehicles without cover, an average of 500 vehicles have been impounded every day. Of those, an estimated 30 percent are sent to the crusher.

West Midlands Police alone is removing, on average, one uninsured vehicle per hour. That means that in well-known uninsured driver areas, such as parts of Birmingham, motorists are eight times more likely than average to be involved in a crash with an illegally driven vehicle.

Some of the excuses motorists have for not having cover include the cost of car insurance, not understanding the law and penalties, and a belief that they will get away with it.

But sadly, every year, motorists who choose to drive without cover kill 160 people and injure 23,000 others.

Driving without cover is certainly not a victimless crime. And the more that can be done to clamp down on this problem, the better. We will all, ultimately, benefit from safer roads, and hopefully in the longer term, more sensible premiums as the price war settles down at a more acceptable level.

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