Like many forces, the West Midlands Police have been using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to help it crack down on the uninsured cars. They report an average seizure rate of one vehicle per hour.
It is estimated that around 1.2 million of the UK's 34 million drivers are still uninsured on the roads today. The AA have pointed out that whilst the fine for driving without insurance is around £200, car insurance premiums (http://www.compareinsurers.com/
The one millionth seizure comes on the same day the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) revealed that Bordesley in Birmingham has the highest number of uninsured drivers, at eight times the number of motorists without cover compared to the national average.
Simon Douglas of AA Insurance said: "A million cars seized is great news, yet there are still an estimated 1.2m vehicles on Britain's roads being driven without cover – that's around 1 out of every 25. We are still a long way from cleaning up Britain's roads. In uninsured driver hotspots such as parts of Birmingham, innocent motorists are eight times more likely than average to be hit by an uninsured vehicle."
Mr Douglas said the penalties levied on uninsured drivers by the courts are too lenient, adding: "It is not a victimless crime." He said uninsured drivers kill 160 and injure 23,000 innocent people a year, while the cost of the work carried out by the MIB adds about £33 to every car insurance policy. The MIB gives compensation to innocent victims involved in collisions with uninsured drivers and those who fail to stop.
Ashton West, chief executive of the MIB, said: "Although we have made significant progress in recent years, with the level of uninsured driving having reduced by 30%, we still need to tackle some persistent offenders. That is why we are working with police and community leaders to engage people in these areas and improve their understanding and awareness of the law as well as the consequences."
Ministry of Justice figures show that 94,000 drivers were convicted of driving without car insurance (http://www.compareinsurers.com/
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