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Uninsured drivers targeted in operation

News   •   Oct 04, 2019 16:00 BST

Officers from across the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) have been supporting ‘Operation Drive Insured’ this week by continuing to crack down on uninsured drivers.

‘Operation Drive Insured’ has been developed by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and the National Police Chiefs Council’s National Roads Policing Intelligence forum.

Earlier this week, more than 300 officers from the RTPC were out in force across London as part of the Met’s commitment to the Mayor’s Vision Zero policing to eliminate death and reduce serious injury on London’s roads by 2041.

Working in partnership with Transport for London, officers issued more than 270 Traffic Offence Reports for offences ranging from driving while using a mobile phone, excess speed and dangerous driving. Additionally, 67 vehicles were seized for being driven without insurance, or not in accordance with the conditions of a licence. 

Over 1,300 vehicles were stopped on Tuesday, 2 October by officers and a total of 24 people were arrested for a variety of offences which included burglary, drug offences, no insurance and drink driving.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Last year nationally, uninsured drivers were involved in collisions leading to 130 fatalities and 26,000 injuries. Statistically, uninsured drivers are more likely to be involved in a serious collision, flee the scene of a collision and be criminally active. The impacts of such driving and actions can be utterly devastating for the lawful driver. 

“We are therefore targeting uninsured drivers in order to support road safety, deny criminals use of the roads and support the lawful road user who face paying higher insurance premiums for those who seek to evade paying. 

“Ordinarily we seize just short of 2,000 uninsured vehicles a month; the consequences for drivers are significant - six points on their licence, a £300 fine, vehicle recovery fees, storage fees and future higher premiums. The message is clear, drive lawfully and in doing so keep a clean licence.” 

Also, as part of Vision Zero, the Met has a priority of proactively targeting high-risk offenders - criminals on London's roads who can pose a significant risk to other road users in the course of committing crimes or driving offences in general.

Uninsured drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a road collision and many are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. They also increase other drivers' insurance premiums.

Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing at TfL, said: “Targeting uninsured drivers is a vital part of our work with the Metropolitan Police to keep everyone safe on London’s roads. The number of people who think it is acceptable to drive illegally and carelessly is shocking and we will continue to stepping up our enforcement activity against drivers who speed, drive while on their mobile phone, drive unlicensed or uninsured or in unsafe vehicles. Breaking the rules of the road creates risk and this joint policing activity shows there are clear consequences for those that do.”

Paul Bennett, National Police Liaison Officer at MIB, said: “Uninsured drivers have a serious impact on society. Not only are they more dangerous, but they are unable to provide financial compensation to victims of motor collisions and this adds costs to other honest motorists’ premiums. Put simply, driving without insurance is socially unacceptable and we will continue to work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service to clampdown on the issue.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said: “Police forces take action every day against those who choose not to insure their vehicles. This co-ordinated NPCC campaign highlights the issue of uninsured driving and anyone stopped by the police who is not insured can expect to have their vehicle seized or face a substantial fine as a consequence.”

+ Operation Drive Insured runs nationally throughout October.