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North police join UK-wide drive to clampdown on uninsured drivers

By Alasdair Fraser

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UK police are launching a nation-wide campaign to protect road users from uninsured drivers.

From today until Sunday November 1, roads policing units from all 43 forces will take part in Operation Drive Insured.

Increased enforcement activity by officers will aim to reduce the level of uninsured and untraced vehicles on UK roads which cause nearly one in every five road traffic collisions and push up insurance costs for law-abiding motorists.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) devised the campaign with the National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigation (NRPOII) committee

MIB compensates victims of uninsured drivers and has seen claims fall by 26 per cent since 2016.

But there are concerns the economic impact of Covid-19 could cause more people to risk driving without insurance.

Every four minutes in the UK an uninsured vehicle is seized and each year over 130 people are killed and 26,000 are left injured in collisions caused by uninsured and untraced drivers.

Evidence also shows drivers without insurance are more likely to commit hit and run offences and be involved in other crimes, such as using a stolen vehicle, driving while disqualified or substance abuse.

MIB, which is funded by insurers and ultimately consumers to provide financial support to victims of uninsured and untraced collisions, paid out £322 million in compensation in 2019.

The Department for Transport estimates these collisions cost the economy a further £2 billion a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and property damage.

Anna Fleming, chief operating officer at MIB, said: “We’ve made great strides in getting more people to drive insured in recent years, but the sad reality is that with Covid-19 putting so many people under financial strain, uninsured driving levels could creep up.

“Everyone suffers the consequences of uninsured driving.

“We’re fully committed to our partnership with the police so we can get as many people as possible to drive insured to make roads safer and fairer for everyone.”

Commander Kyle Gordon, head of NRPOII, added: “Many people will see uninsured driving as a victimless crime, or as only impacting on the profits of large insurance companies.

“This is not the case. We know from our work in roads policing that uninsured drivers are statistically significantly more likely to cause a death or injury on the road, which too often sadly brings devastation to victims, families and communities up and down the country.

“They are also frequently involved in wider road crime.”

“Protecting the public and keeping our roads safe for everyone is our priority and removing uninsured drivers from our roads helps to do just that.

“This is why all police forces are acting to take uninsured drivers off the road every single day.”

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