Police target uninsured drivers in Fife

Pic: Rob McDougall
Pic: Rob McDougall

Fife motorists have been warned that police are set to take action against uninsured drivers

A new crackdown, Operation Drive Insured, started today, and runs until Saturday September 13 as part of a national week of enforcement activity.

Drivers without insurance will have their cars seized and potentially crushed.

In cases that go to court, offenders can receive an unlimited fine and a driving ban.

Uninsured drivers are more likely to cause accidents and are often involved in wider crime.

Road Policing teams across Scotland will be invovled in a week of enhanced operations 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 the 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.

In addition to the human impact, the economic cost of providing services to compensate victims amounts to around £400 million annually.

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One contributing factor behind the concerning rate of collisions caused by uninsured drivers is that, unlike insured drivers, offenders aren’t motivated to display safer behaviour and meet the basic legal requirements designed to keep policy costs down.

Further danger is brought by links to wider crime. Each year MIB sees a large volume of uninsured drivers stopped by the police who 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.

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 can be found in Aberdeen, Falkirk, Inverness, Paisley, Kilmarnock and Edinburgh.

Paul Bennett, national police liaison officer at MIB said: “Each month we support enforcement by investigating the insurance status of up to 1000 vehicles in Scotland and insight shows us just how dangerous uninsured drivers are. It comes as no surprise Police Scotland are making proactive efforts to protect innocent road users.

“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.”

Last year, 7127 uninsured vehicles were seized across Scotland.

If a member of the public wants to check if their vehicle is appearing as insured on the MID, they can do so for free HERE www.askMID.com.

Superintendent Louise Blakelock, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland said: “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.

“We are committed to achieving the Scottish Government’s 2020 casualty reduction targets.“