Over 125,000 car owners have each been given a £100 fine for failing to take out car insurance on their vehicle or declaring it as off-road. The £12million of penalties comes after changes to the rules introduced last June which demanded all drivers either insure their car or officially state it is not being driven on any road.
Around 320,000 warning letters were sent out to alert individuals to the fact that they were breaking the law. The new rules are known as “continuous insurance enforcement” and the law was changed to make it easier to crackdown on uninsured drivers. The new rules mean there should no longer be any gaps in cover because insurers work with the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau) to match details of every single driver, their vehicle and insurance.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “This is vital because uninsured driving is a menace on the roads. An estimated 1.4 million drivers are flouting the law by driving without insurance. This is a serious offence and results in accidents that cause about 160 deaths each year and more than 23,000 people are injured by uninsured drivers. We cannot stand by and let uninsured driving continue; otherwise the honest motorist will keep paying the bills for the injury and damage caused to people and property. We are determined to bring UK levels more in line with the rest of Western Europe.”
Drivers who fail to make sure their vehicle has insurance cover or does not obtain a Statutory Off-Road Notice (SORN) will be sent a letter within a week of it being noticed. If they take no action, they are given a £100 fine followed by enforcement sanctions which include clamping the vehicle. The MIB says the warning letters are designed to give owners enough time to take action without having to pay a fine.