Police target uninsured drivers in national campaign

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Police Scotland are currently carrying out a week of enforcement activity to seize uninsured drivers’ vehicles and improve road safety.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), a not-for-profit organisation that compensates victims of uninsured driving and works with police to tackle the issue, estimates that 26,000 people are injured each year in the UK in collisions caused by an uninsured or untraced driver.

The cost of providing services to compensate victims amounts to around £400m annually.

There are currently estimated to be around 40,000 uninsured motorists in Scotland, with the worst affected area being Glasgow.

Other hotspots for uninsured driving include Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and the FK14 postcode area, which covers Dollar, Glendevon and Burnfoot.

One contributing factor behind the rate of motor collisions caused by uninsured drivers is that offenders are not motivated to display safer behaviour and meet the basic legal requirements desinged to keep insurance policy costs down.

And each year a large volume of uninsured drivers stopped by the police are also found to be driving while disqualified or without a valid driving licence.

A number are also caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Operation Drive Insured started on Saturday and runs until Friday.

The MIB is working with Police Scotland to help reduce the levels of uninsured driving.

Paul Bennett, national police liaison officer at MIB, said: “Those who drive without insurance must realise it isn’t worth the risk; they will get caught and if the case goes to court, they will gain a criminal conviction which can have a severe impact on their independence and livelihood. The message is simple - always drive insured.”

Drivers exposed for not having insurance can have their vehicle seized and potentially crushed, along with a £300 fixed penalty notice and six licence points.

If the case goes to court offenders can receive an unlimited fine and a driving ban.

Superintendent Louise Blakelock, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland, added: “Operation Drive Insured will be delivered through a combination of mobile and static road checks, involving Road Policing Officers across Scotland with support from divisional colleagues.

“Officers will target uninsured drivers and in doing this we hope to minimise the inconvenience caused to the general public and contribute to the overall safety of our roads.

“Ultimately, the honest motorist is penalised by having to pay higher premiums as a result of claims arising from uninsured losses.”