Police Crackdown On Uninsured Drivers
12 November 2018, 06:00
Wiltshire Police are spending this week cracking down on uninsured drivers on our roads.
Over the past nine months, officers have been taking part in a national operation, Operation Tutelage, which involves using automated systems to check whether vehicles have the right documentation. If they are found to not have insurance, their registered keepers are sent a letter telling them to correct that before the vehicle is driven on the road again. Any owners who still don't, are then targeted by officers while on patrol.
Almost 1400 of these letters have been sent out in Wiltshire so far. 80 per cent of those have now got their vehicles insured, while 5 per cent scrapped the vehicle. A further 5 per cent, which is around 70 vehicles, have now been seized by officers, while the rest are on an active stop list.
Driving without insurance will get you a fine of £300 and six penalty points on your licence if you are caught.
Sergeant Simon Drewett, from the Roads Policing Unit, said: "We have been seizing vehicles for either no insurance or no licence since 2005 and during that time, I would estimate we have seized appromixately 25,000 vehicles from across Wiltshire. Over half of these have been crushed and therefore permanently removed from our roads. The introduction of Operation Tutelage has however enabled us to take a far more targeted approach. We are the first to accept that vehicles can be uninsured for a variety of reasons, some of them administrative, some by virtue of a financial situation and others as a result of a conscious decision to evade insurance (and with it the legal obligation to insure). We are simply encouraging those that have inadvertently fallen foul of the law to remedy the situation, thereby enabling us to focus on those drivers that continue to take the risk. Of course, this also includes the more seasoned criminal elements, so this is not just about no insurance and the generally law abiding motorist."
The force is using this week of action to highlight the impact uninsured drivers have on their victims and the dangers they pose, as they are more likely to cause an accident and be involved in wider crime.
Figures suggest uninsured drivers are ten times more likely to have a drink-drive conviction.
Sergeant Drewett added: "We are trying to keep Wiltshire's roads safe and reducing the number of uninsured vehicles in our county both directly and indirectly helps us to achieve this. There is of course both the financial cost and personal misery associated with a collision involving an uninsured vehicle. Sadly, we are aware that over 6,000 drivers across Wiltshire continue to make this choice and our aim is to reduce this to zero. I would urge every driver to visit two free of charge websites that allow an instant check to be made in respect of their vehicle. For Insurance, this is the MIB led www.askmid.com web page, whilst the Driving and Transport side of www.gov.uk allows for both the MOT and Taxation status of a vehicle to be confirmed."