POLICE in the north-east launched a crackdown on uninsured drivers in the region in a special operation over last weekend.
Grampian, in conjunction with other forces across Scotland, took part in the ACPOS Operation, which ran between Friday 26 and Monday 29 of August. The operation specifically targeted those believed to be driving without insurance, or with invalid cover. As well as a £200 fine and six penalty points, those driving uninsured vehicles face the risk of having their cars seized, impounded and crushed for scrap.
Chief Inspector Ian Wallace, Head of Road Policing with Grampian Police said that uninsured motorists were a ‘menace’ to the north-east’s roads, given the difficulty of claiming money back from an uninsured driver in the event of an accident.
He said: “Drivers who use vehicles while uninsured are a significant menace on our roads. Motor insurance is one of the most important requirements which a vehicle user must have before they put it on the road. Motor insurance is there to protect everyone, and the difficulties which can arise following a collision and a potential claim against an uninsured driver are significant.”
Police have reported a rise in the number of people caught driving who genuinely believe that they are insured, but turn out not to be. Recent examples included one woman who believed her ex-husband was still paying the car insurance when he wasn’t, along with some drivers, particularly under 25 years of age, who believed they held third party cover on their policy to drive vehicles belonging to their friends, when again it transpired they didn’t.
Officers have also reported instances of drivers who start an annual insurance policy, pay one months premium and thereafter cease paying, believing that this will convince police officers that they have valid insurance cover. Police say, however, that advances in technology and close links with insurance companies mean that this ruse no longer works.
Inspector Wallace said that the force were seizing hundreds of cars each year, and that the prospects of the crime going unnoticed were rapidly diminishing.
“In the north east, we are currently seizing about 80 vehicles per month for no insurance offences and the message from us is quite simply, no insurance means no car,” he said.