Uninsured drivers caught in crackdown

AT LEAST 14 North-East motorists have been caught driving without insurance, after a crackdown by Grampian Police last week.

In conjunction with Scotland’s other police forces, Grampian officers targeted uninsured drivers and vehicles between Tuesday and Friday last week, using Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to cross check vehicles with the Motor Insurance Bureau and DVLA records.

Sergeant Jon Barron of the Grampian Road Policing Department said that the motorists would now have to face the consequences of their “ill-judged and selfish” actions.

“It will hit them hard financially and, if they do not obtain the required insurance cover in the very near future, they may have to cope with the loss of their vehicle”, he said.

“It is in all our interests that we are made aware of those who choose to flout the law, who cause each and every law abiding motorist a hefty financial penalty on their own premiums and, importantly, risk the safety of everyone.

He continued: “While the specific campaign may have finished, the scourge caused by uninsured motorists remains at the forefront of Officer’s activities while they are out on patrol. The intelligence and technology at our disposal ensure that they are still very much in our sights.”

Anyone caught driving without insurance can be subject to a fine of up to £5,000, and have their driving licence endorsed with six to eight penalty points. The courts can also order the immediate disqualification of the offender.

Driving without insurance will result in the driver being issued with a £200 endorsable conditional offer of fixed penalty and six penalty points on their licence.

The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy the vehicle that’s being driven uninsured.

Any vehicle seized under these powers will only be released on payment of a £150 fixed fee, presentation of a valid insurance certificate and £20 storage per day, up to a maximum of 14 days, after which the vehicle will be sold or destroyed.

It is also an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle, rather than drive without insurance. Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) requires the Registered Keeper of a vehicle to insure a vehicle at all times unless the vehicle has a valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN). The DVLA is responsible for enforcing this process which involves records being continually compared with the Motor Insurance Database to identify those vehicles which are being kept without insurance.

DVLA records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database, identifying the registered keepers of vehicles that appear to have no insurance. All drivers can check their vehicle is recorded on the database by visiting www.askMID.com.

Anyone suspected of driving without insurance can be reported in confidence to Grampian Police or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.