Why The Penalties For Having No Car Insurance Are Getting Tougher In The UK

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You might not have known that penalties were becoming more severe. Perhaps you didn’t know about the current penalties for having no third-party liability motor insurance.

1930 saw the enactment of a law that required all motorists to carry a minimum amount in third-party personal injury insurance. This law was enacted to ensure that negligent motorists were compensated for any injuries they caused. The Road Traffic Act of 1988 was created to replace the law. It has also been amended over the years. There are some exceptions to this law but all vehicles that travel on roads or in public places currently must have motor liability coverage.

Why was motor insurance made compulsory

This type of insurance is mandatory for many reasons. The frequency of accidents is one reason. Another reason is the ever-increasing financial burden on road casualties as well as their families.

Police accident reports show that there were 247,780 road fatalities in Great Britain (GB), during 2007. 217,060 of these road casualties in Great Britain (GB) were only lightly injured. 27774 people were severely injured, while 2,946 were fatally shot. Children had a KSI (3,090) rate. Most of these children were pedestrians.

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These figures only include road casualties within one country and one year. These numbers don’t include casualties not reported to police. These statistics make it clear why road casualties and their families must be adequately compensated for any harm they suffer due to someone else’s negligence, deliberate actions or inaction. It is estimated that up to 2,000,000 people drive uninsured each year. The UK’s general population is affected by these drivers, which costs approximately PS500 million each year.

Penalties

Current laws allow you to be penalized for operating a vehicle on roads or in public places, while not being insured against third-party risk. Because of the requirement to prove usage, the law is usually enforced only against those who actually drive the uninsured vehicle. The law doesn’t require you to drive the vehicle in order to be guilty. This offense can be a parked or stationary car, or a vehicle left to repair on a road or public place.

A maximum penalty for conviction is a fine up to PS5,000. The driver can also be subject to 6-8 penalty points and a driving ban. The Magistrate’s Court decides whether the offence was committed intentionally or unknowingly.

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The proposed penalties for 2011 will make it an offense to register a vehicle owner who is uninsured, unless the exemption has been granted by law. These Continuous Insurance Enforcement plans will replace current laws. They will be implemented in the first quarter of 2011.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras will help enforce the new laws in a variety of ways. Searches will be made on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), and DVLA records for insurance information. The registered keeper will receive a notice if it turns out there is no insurance or SORN.

Failure to respond will result in a fixed fine of PS100. The court will prosecute the keeper if he or she continues to ignore the call and can fine him or her up to PS1,000. Failure to respond may result in the vehicle being seized, clamped and destroyed.

You might be surprised that this is possible. On average, 500 cars are taken away each day. 40% of these vehicles are destroyed by their owners because they didn’t pay the required fine. You can avoid being wrongly prosecuted by making sure that your insurance coverage or SORN exemption are listed in the MID and registered with the DVLA.

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