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The government has confirmed it will clamp down on uninsured driving, following criticism from the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) over stalled proceedings.
Insurance Age reported in August that Biba had been lobbying the government to establish the long-awaited Continuous Insurance Enforcement process, which would see official vehicle registers and the motor insurance database (MID) join forces to catch uninsured drivers.
Jim Fitzpatrick, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, met up with criminal insurance industry representatives last month to discuss plans to create a new offence of keeping an uninsured car. This will allow police to match insurance industry databases against Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency records and identify cars that do not appear to be covered. The owners will receive a warning letter and, if they do not take out insurance, will be fined £100 and may have their vehicle seized and crushed.
Graeme Trudgill, technical and corporate affairs executive at Biba, said: "It has been a successful campaign but there is still work to do. The government will launch a consultation paper in the next few months, but our message to brokers is to start preparing now.
"The government is going to embark upon a publicity campaign, and there may be thousands of letters going out to uninsured motorists recommending that they contact their insurance company. We want the industry to take this approach to ensure customers don't fall foul of the law."
Research has revealed that around two million cars, or about 6% of those on the road, are being driven uninsured. Uninsured drivers are 10 times more likely than ordinary motorists to be convicted of drink driving, six times more likely to drive a car that is unsafe and four times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention.