Uninsured Driving News
Some good car insurance news last week was that the West Midlands Police announced that it had seized the millionth uninsured car in the UK since the start of a crackdown in 2005. The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) made the announcement in Birmingham as part of its relaunch of its campaign against uninsured driving.
Why should this be of interest to the majority of the UK’s law-abiding, insured drivers? Well, quite simply they are subsidising the UK’s law-breaking, uninsured drivers. It’s been estimated that about £33 or more is added to each motor insurance premium in order to maintain the MIB’s uninsured driver fund, which compensates insured drivers in the event of an incident involving an uninsured driver or drivers who fail to stop. The insurance industry has to fund innocent victims of uninsured driving to the tune of about £500 million a year.
But that’s just the financial cost. The problem with uninsured driving goes much deeper. Uninsured drivers are estimated to be 10 times more likely to be convicted of drink driving and are believed to be responsible for over 160 road deaths and 23,000 injuries each year. They are also likely to be breaking other driving laws as well as being involved in other criminal activity.
It’s perhaps most shocking to think that we’re not even half way to solving this problem. It’s estimated that here are another 1.2 million uninsured drivers on Britain’s roads. So even at the current detection rate of 500 vehicles per day it would take nearly 7 years to rid our roads of this expensive menace!
So why are there so many uninsured drivers on the roads? Research undertaken by the MIB suggests that 10% of young drivers aren’t even aware that motor insurance is a legal requirement! But perhaps the key driver here (pardon the pun!) is that the fines imposed are relatively low in comparison to the cost of insurance for young – and particularly young male – drivers. Half of the UK’s uninsured drivers are believed to be under 30 and high insurance premiums coupled with fines as low as £50 encourage many to take the risk.
That’s why we would like to see penalties for uninsured drivers significantly increased and that all vehicles seized are confiscated in cases where they are owned by the driver. Perhaps the MIB could set up a used car sales division and use the funds generated to replace some or all of the £33 a year that us insured drivers are indirectly paying to compensate the victims of uninsured drivers.
I can feel a campaign coming on! What do you think?