IAM backs move to crack down on uninsured drivers

The UK’s estimated two million uninsured drivers face an instant fine should the latest Government proposals go ahead. The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has backed the move, claiming it will protect the vast majority of law abiding motorists – as long as databases are reliable.

Under new proposals from the Department for Transport, using the 2006 Road Safety Act, vehicles and motorists will have to be continuously insured, whether the vehicle is kept and used on a road or not. The DVLA will send reminder letters to motorists whose insurance is soon to expire. If they ignore this letter and don’t renew their motor insurance, they will be issued with an automatic fine.

IAM chief examiner, Peter Rodger, said: “The proposal will help reduce the numbers of people who had genuinely forgotten their motor insurance was up for renewal. However, those who deliberately flout the law are unlikely to be fazed by the new proposals as they will continue to find ways to work the system.

It’s worth remembering that a crash involving an uninsured driver is particularly fraught. A worst case scenario is when the uninsured driver will be in an unregistered vehicle, untaxed and without a current MOT – there are a host of road safety issues when some drivers choose to simply drop below the radar.

“These illegal motorists not only represent a threat to other road users, but also place a financial burden on the remaining 94 per cent of law abiding motorists.”

The proposal entirely depends on the accuracy of both the DVLA keeper records and the Motor Insurance Database (MID). The IAM is concerned about their reliability.

Mr Rodger added: “There are regular instances where the MID has provided inaccurate information to police enforcement units, leading to mistaken action against drivers and vehicles which are in fact insured. It would be unfair for a motorist to receive a fine if the database in incorrect. We also recommend that a check against the Police National Computer is carried out, so the victim of a crime, such as theft, does not have to prove to the police that they already hold a report.”

The IAM would like assurances from the DVLA that these accuracy problems will be addressed before placing unnecessary concern onto law abiding motorists. Enforcement measures such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and road traffic policing are crucial for any new scheme to be effective.

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3 comments on “IAM backs move to crack down on uninsured drivers
  1. Dave says:

    It is fantastic that the IAM is going to crack down on uninsured drivers. They do countless damage and it is great that they will be brought to order. A friend of mine was in a car accident with an uninsured driver and it was the start of a saga that went on for years.

  2. Rob Watson says:

    Uninsured drivers are ten times more likely to drink and drive and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. They also cause one accident every six months. In fact one in twenty motorists regularly drive without insurance. It’s therefore not perhaps surprising that, one in ten of all motorists have been involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. The question is what to do if you’re involved in an accident with one?

    At the time of the accident you’re unlikely to realise that the other driver is uninsured so you’ll have to react in the normal way. Take a note of the other car’s make, model and registration number. Also note the other driver’s name and address – but whether he’ll give you his correct details is perhaps unlikely! Nevertheless, always record what the other driver says. Unless you have this information you’ll have no leg to stand on when it comes to getting some of your money back.

    Also take notes about the damage to the other car and the accident scene. Remember to note road markings, road signs, light and weather conditions and whether the other car had its lights on – in fact as much detail as possible. Then if you’re lucky enough to have an independent witness get their full contact details. And if you happen to have a camera in the car, take lots of pictures – and try and get one with the other driver clearly in the picture. The police might like that one!
    If your policy is comprehensive, your insurer pay for your car to be repaired but you could lose your no claims discount unless you’ve paid to protect it. But then there’s the issue of your excess payment – that’s the first part of the repair cost you have to pay for. You’ll have to pay that unless you’re lucky enough to have a policy that waives the excess payment if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.

    For those of you with third party car insurance, you’re in for a hard time. Your insurer won’t pay for your repairs and, as the other driver is uninsured, you’re not going to get any money off him unless you can trace him and succeed in a court action. Even then there’s no guarantee that he’ll pay up! Always ask the police for a copy of their accident report as the Bureau’s likely to ask to see it.

  3. Car Insurance Services says:

    This is really great news. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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