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Driving Offences: Insurance

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps he has taken to reduce the number of people who drive without insurance. (253502)

Measures introduced in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 gave the police improved access to the motor insurance database. This enabled them to have data on uninsured vehicles for use with their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) equipment. The police were also given powers to seize, and in appropriate cases destroy, vehicles being driven uninsured. In 2007 around 150,000 vehicles were seized.

The Road Safety Act 2006 introduced a new offence of being a registered keeper of a vehicle for which there is no valid motor insurance. Further regulations are required to bring the provisions into force. We are consulting on these and the details of the proposed scheme for Continuous Insurance Enforcement.

Rather than relying on the police to spot vehicles in use, Continuous Insurance Enforcement would identify uninsured drivers by frequent comparison of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s vehicle register and the insurance industry’s database. Those that ignore warning reminders that their insurance has expired and take no action would be sent a fixed penalty notice and fine of £100, and may be liable to court prosecution, the vehicle clamped, impounded and disposed of.