With an estimated 40,000 uninsured drivers currently on the country’s roads, Police Scotland is looking to tackle the problem with a week of enhanced operations.
Operation Drive Insured (7-13 Sept), which is being carried out in partnership with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), will see officers seize any vehicles on the road without valid insurance.
MIB estimates 130 people are killed and more than 26,000 injured in the UK each year, as a result of uninsured and hit and run drivers.
MIB says uninsured drivers are more dangerous than those driving with insurance as the latter are more likely to drive in a safer manner and meet road legal requirements to help keep down policy costs.
Any driver found without insurance during the operation is likely to have their vehicle seized, get six points on their licence, a £300 fine and could face court prosecution.
Supt Louise Blakelock, deputy head of road policing at Police Scotland, said: “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.”
Help from the MIB
Using data from the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – a central record of all UK motor insurance policies – police can identify and stop motorists that appear to be uninsured.
MIB’s police helpline supports roadside officers by investigating further and liaising with insurers to confirm whether there is valid insurance in place or not.
Paul Bennett, national police liaison officer at MIB, said: “Each month we support enforcement by investigating the insurance status of up to 1,000 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.”