POLICE in West Mercia have launched an operation to target uninsured drivers.
‘Operation Tutelage’ is using existing automated systems to see if vehicles are insured and the registered owners of uninsured vehicles will be identified and contacted by letter, with three weeks to rectify the issue or face further action.
The operation will also free officers from conducting physical checks enabling them to respond to other incidents.
The operation was initially trialled in Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Police areas and showed a proven, positive result.
In these areas, over a four month period, approximately 2,400 ‘no insurance’ notifications were sent out and when these vehicles were checked three weeks later, 80 per cent were found to be subsequently insured.
Inspector Nick Doyle from North Worcestershire said statistics indicated that:
* Uninsured driving costs at least £250 million per annum.
* Uninsured drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision and in 60 per cent of vehicles seized, the driver has a criminal record.
* Uninsured drivers are 10 times more likely to have a drink drive conviction.
* Uninsured drivers are six times more likely to have a defective vehicle.
The average fine an uninsured driver receives at court is £301, six points on their licence and a recovery fee of £150 (plus £20 per day storage).
In all 130 people die each year through uninsured driving, five times the recorded death rate of using mobile phones.
Insp Doyle said: “Our aim is to make roads in the West Mercia Policing area safer for our communities by dramatically reducing the number of uninsured vehicles being used.
*Driving without insurance carries a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points at the roadside. If the matter goes to court it is an obligatory endorsement of six to eight points, a discretionary disqualification and an unlimited fine.”