Thames Valley Roads Policing taking part in national campaign Op Drive Insured to keep uninsured drivers off the road
From November 15 to 21, all 45 UK police forces are executing Op Drive Insured in a national effort to reduce uninsured driving levels and protect road users.
TVP Roads Policing tweeted on social media today: 'Every 20 minutes someone is injured by an uninsured or hit and run driver – changing a life forever. By taking uninsured drivers off the road through #OpDriveInsured we’re making roads safer. #ItsNotWorthTheRisk'
The week-long campaign which has been developed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and NPCC’s National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigations (NRPOII), will see an increase in roads policing activity to detect and seize uninsured vehicles.
In addition to causing more collisions, MIB records show uninsured drivers often commit wider road crime ranging from ‘hit and runs’, using a stolen vehicle and drink driving.
MIB which is a not-for-profit organisation that compensates victims of uninsured and hit-and-run drivers, supported more than 26,000 injured victims in 2020 – equating to one injury every 20 minutes.
Chief customer officer at MIB Ben Fletcher said: “Put simply, uninsured motorists are very dangerous. They cause a worryingly high level of collisions and are frequently involved in wider crime.
"By using MIB’s Motor Insurance Database police can easily see if a vehicle appears to have no insurance and will take swift action to remove the threat. Op Drive Insured serves as an important reminder that no one is above the law and illegal motorists will be caught.”
Sussex Police chief constable and NPCC lead for roads policing Jo Shiner said: “Police officers take action against the users of uninsured vehicles every day, this national week of action really highlights how we work with all of our partners to take these vehicles off the road and prosecute offenders.
"We know those who are unwilling to insure their vehicles present more risk to other road users than those who do insure their vehicles. We have sophisticated systems to help identify offenders and we will use all of our powers to take appropriate action against offenders and make our roads safer.”
Uninsured driving is a problem that exists across all corners of the UK, with the worst-affected areas found in Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Greater London.
MIB which is funded by insurers and ultimately their honest premium-paying customers, requires around £400m each year to compensate victims and help them rebuild their lives.
Using government figures on the average value of prevention, MIB also estimates that collisions caused by uninsured and hit-and-run drivers could cost the economy nearly £2bn a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and property damage.
During the week of action, police officers will access MIB’s Motor Insurance Database (MID) – a central record of live UK motor insurance policies – to see if motorists’ licence plates show their vehicle as insured. If the validity of insurance is disputed by the driver, MIB will liaise in real-time with the insurer in question to confirm if the vehicle has valid insurance.
Uninsured drivers will likely have their vehicle seized (and potentially crushed), receive a £300 fixed penalty notice and six licence points. Furthermore, uninsured motorists could face court and receive an unlimited fine and/or a driving ban.
A criminal record can also affect job prospects.
So far this year, more than 100,000 uninsured drivers have had their vehicle seized.