Right now, drivers that are pulled over by the police for not obtaining any insurance on their vehicle, will be given an on the spot penalty fine of £200 and a further six penalty points issued on to their license.
Conservative MP, Karl McCartney, raised this issue among the public by carrying out an online survey asking for individual views on the subject. The survey results showed that 78% of people strongly felt that uninsured drivers that have been involved in an accident should encounter an automatic prison sentence.
Out of all the participants surveyed, it was found that 12% had personally been involved in an accident with a driver who was not covered by insurance. Quite a large percentage considering only survey pool consisted of 100 people.
Other forms of penalties incurred by uninsured driving vary according to how serious the offence is. The maximum monetary fine for a driving infraction is £5000 plus the addition of six to eight penalty points on your license. Courts can order a disqualification from driving in cases where uninsured motorists cause accidents or death. With insurance companies offering discounts on multiple insurance covers it may be a wise to consider life cover along with car insurance due to the carelessness of others like uninsured drivers.
Directgov statistics suggest that uninsured drivers are the cause of a huge financial liability; they have estimated that uninsured drivers cost UK motorists £380 million every year. This works out at £30 for every insurance premium that is rightfully paid.
According to Directgov, uninsured drivers will also bring further expenses to the rest of the society. Their research has found that uninsured drivers are far more likely be involved in multiple diving and traffic accidents, ignore road traffic signals or signs and could potentially be involved in other forms of criminal activity.
Karl McCarthy has said: “It is one of those crimes that can really undermine and shake peoples’ belief in the rule of law, if someone who is caught is not punished strongly enough. It is an issue that needs far more attention.”
Mr McCarthy has commented that the rise in high personal injury claims are putting pressure on car insurance companies, contributing to a rise in cost for car owners.
He went on to say: “The average payment for a whiplash claim is £3,200 and there are 1,200 claims each day,”
Last year, premiums for car insurance rose by almost 40% costing the insurance industry an estimated £350 million every year. According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, as many as 30,000 of these personal injury claims are falsified or staged.
Personal injury claims have also risen by 40%, this may be a reflection in the rise of compensation culture. The majority of personal injury claims are from whiplash or other neck related injuries. These types of problems cannot be seen on an x-ray or scan so it’s very difficult to work out whether the person is genuinely hurt or not.
Due to these massive rises in personal injury claims, people in the UK can now expect a £100 bump in average car insurance premium costs, no matter the insurer.
Ian Crowder from the AA said: “We do think that the fines are offensive to those people who suffer an accident through an uninsured driver. But the trouble is that you are dealing with a motoring underclass, often the kind of people who are driving around without insurance have extensive bans and just go on to reoffend.”
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