ABI Applauds New Legislation “To Drive Illegal and Dangerous Motorists from the Roads.”

April 8, 2005

The Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) campaign to more effectively enforce sanctions against motorists driving illegally without insurance, is on the road to success.

According to the ABI offenders “will face more effective on – the – road detection, and possible confiscation of their vehicles, under tough new legislation that has now been agreed by both Houses of Parliament.” It also noted that the “UK has one of the highest levels of uninsured driving in Europe, with one in twenty motorists at any one time driving without insurance.”

The bulletin explained that “under provisions in the new Serious Organised Crime Act (2005) the police will be given improved access to the industry’s Motor Insurance Database to help them detect uninsured drivers and will be given the power to seize, and in some circumstances, destroy vehicles being driven uninsured.”

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, commented: “This new Act will be excellent news for honest motorists and all road users. We are pleased that the Government has seized the opportunity to act on what the industry has been calling for – better detection of and stiffer penalties for illegal and dangerous motorists who drive uninsured. This Act will send out a clear message: driving without insurance is a serious and dangerous crime, which the Government, in partnership with the insurance industry and the police, is determined to reduce.”

The ABI also noted that there is strong public support for the new measures. It conducted opinion research, which concluded that:
— 85 percent of motorists see driving without insurance as a serious offence, and would welcome a clampdown.
— 90 percent think that they are more likely to get caught for speeding than for driving uninsured.
— A third of motorists believe that confiscation of the offender’s vehicle is seen as the most effective deterrent.

The ABI is also urging all three main political parties to commit to bring in a new criminal offence of “keeping a vehicle without insurance” early in the new Parliament [Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held May 5]. “This new offence could improve road safety further and reduce the cost of uninsured driving by £100million [$187 million] by enabling the DVLA to systematically and cost – effectively target uninsured motorists,” said the ABI. “It would only apply to vehicles kept on the road without insurance, and would not apply to vehicles where the keeper has declared that it is being kept off-road through a Statutory Off – Road Notification to the DVLA.”

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