Police launch crackdown on uninsured drivers
Police are targeting uninsured drivers in a crackdown which aims to remove them from the country’s roads.
It is estimated there are 40,000 uninsured drivers in Scotland, who are said by insurance experts to be more dangerous than those who have a policy.
During Operation Drive Insured police will carry out enhanced operations to seize uninsured drivers’ vehicles.
Police are running the campaign in partnership with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) which operates a Police Helpline to help officers with enforcement legislation.
Any driver caught driving without insurance during the operation is likely to have their vehicle seized, get six points on their licence, a £300 fine and could face prosecution in court.
Superintendent Louise Blakelock, Deputy Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland, said: “Police Scotland work in partnership with the Motor Insurers Bureau throughout the year and tackling uninsured drivers continues to be a priority for us.
“During this campaign we will increase our focus, to not only detect, but hopefully deter motorists from driving with no insurance.
“The legislation is there to protect all road users and if a vehicle is driven without a valid insurance policy, in common with other road traffic offences, there is an obvious road safety risk, additionally the minimum fine for an insurance offence is £300 and 6 penalty points on their licence.”
MIB said that uninsured and untraced hit and run drivers cost law-abiding motorists £400 million a year in insurance premiums.
It estimates that each year in the UK around 130 people are killed and more than 26,000 are left injured as a result of uninsured and hit and run drivers.
In 2018, MIB’s Police Helpline received more than 10,000 calls from Scottish officers at the roadside with a driver of a vehicle where the insurance status was in question, resulting in more than 7,000 uninsured vehicles being seized.
Neil Drane, head of enforcement at MIB, said: “A driver with no valid insurance has no legal right to be on the road and removing them undoubtedly makes roads safer.
“The increased activity during Operation Drive Insured should get more of these dangerous drivers off our roads.”
Operation Drive Insured runs from January 21 to 27.
If a member of the public suspects a person is driving without insurance, they can report it to their local police force or anonymously to CrimeStoppers.