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Northumbria tackles uninsured drivers

13 Oct 2017 11:16 AM

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Northumbria Police is supporting a national campaign to tackle uninsured drivers.

The initiative, spearheaded by the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), comes as figures show nationally in 2016 there were over 146,000 uninsured vehicles seized by police, an increase of 20% from the previous year.

The week long campaign which runs from Monday, October 16, to Sunday, October 22, aims to raise awareness of the problem and target offenders with additional patrols taking place.

Police want to make it clear that it is the driver's responsibility to make sure they have fully paid their insurance and that their address details are correct.

The use of uninsured vehicles causes an increased risk of harm to communities with every year an average of 130 people being killed by uninsured drivers across the UK. In 2016 the Motor Insurance Bureau received more than 27,000 claims relating to uninsured and untraced drivers, so far in 2017 this figure has increased by over 10%. 

Chief Inspector Dave Guthrie, head of Northumbria's Motor Patrols Department said: "We want to highlight the extent of the issue and make people aware of the penalties which can be imposed on those who flout the law and drive without insurance.

"The law is clear, drivers without valid insurance cover can face an unlimited fine, a minimum of six penalty points on their licence or a potential disqualification. Their vehicle will be seized and to reclaim it the owner will have to pay recovery fees - a minimum charge of £150 plus storage costs of £20 per 24 hour period - and must provide proof of valid insurance before the vehicle will be returned to them.

"Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads. They push up premiums for other motorists and often drive with no regard for other road users, so it is vital that we do everything we can to keep them off the roads

"Our message is clear don't run the risk of being caught, make 

sure your insurance is valid and covers all those who drive with it - if you don't want to pay the penalty."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said:

“Anyone can have an accident on the road and if you hurt yourself, hurt someone else or worse still cause a death, you will be in very serious trouble if you were not insured. And you will feel awful for the rest of your life that you did that damage and weren’t able, through your insurance to give support to the people whose lives were badly affected. Get fully insured now.”

This initiative also supports Operation Dragoon, Northumbria Police's road safety initiative which aims to educate all road users about road safety, while also  targeting dangerous drivers on our roads.