Drivers in Birmingham – the UK’s top hotspot for uninsured driving – are being urged to check their motor insurance is valid or face losing their vehicle, as a crackdown to make roads safer gets under way.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver and tragically, each day at least one person suffers an injury so severe that they require life-long care.
Officers have been taking part in Op Drive Insured in an urgent bid to stop dangerous uninsured motorists and protect road users.
As part of the operation, West Midlands Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Wasim Ali accompanied officers out on patrol in Birmingham as they cracked down on uninsured drivers.
The MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) which is a not-for-profit organisation that compensates people who are hit by uninsured and hit-and-run drivers, received claims from over 26,000 victims in 2021.
Its records show that uninsured and hit-and-run driving rates are more than double the national average across parts of the West Midlands. 4.1% of MIB’s claims are Birmingham-based, even though the city represents just 1.7% of the UK population.
Furthermore, seven of the UK’s top postal districts for uninsured driving are in the city of Birmingham, with B18 topping the list.
TOP 10 POSTAL DISTRICTS FOR UNINSURED DRIVING IN THE UK
Wasim Ali, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Police, said:
“Many people, like me, will be deeply concerned about the number of deliberately uninsured drivers in the West Midlands. These people are reckless, thoughtless and have no regard for others.
“Rest assured, West Midlands Police will deal with those people that do not feel the law applies to them, robustly, so as to ensure they are held to account for their actions.”
Paul Farley, Law Enforcement Manager at MIB, added: “Birmingham is a top hotspot for uninsured driving, which sadly means local road users are at increased risk of being involved in a collision caused by an illegal motorist.
“We’re working round the clock with West Midlands Police to seize uninsured drivers’ vehicles in a bid to improve the safety of public roads. We hope Op Drive Insured sends a clear message that no one is above the law and those who choose to drive without insurance will not get away with it.”
Uninsured and hit-and-run driving has a significant impact, not only in the West Midlands but across all parts of Britain.
It is hoped that Op Drive Insured, which has been launched in partnership with NPCC’s National Roads Policing Operations, Intelligence and Investigations (NRPOII), will see a significant rise in uninsured vehicles being seized in all regions to make roads safer.
Not only are uninsured drivers more dangerous, they bring a significant economic impact with honest road users racking up added costs of nearly £500 million in their premiums each year.
Furthermore, using government figures on the average value of prevention, MIB estimates that injuries caused by uninsured and hit-and-run drivers potentially cost the economy nearly £2.2 billion a year in emergency services, medical care, loss of productivity and human costs.
During the week of action, police used the Motor Insurance Database (MID) which is a live record of all motor insurance policies, to see if drivers are insured. If this is disputed by the driver, MIB will liaise with the insurer in question in real time to confirm the vehicle’s insurance status.
Uninsured drivers will likely have their vehicle seized (and potentially crushed), receive a £300 fixed penalty notice and six licence points. Furthermore, they could face court and receive an unlimited fine and/or a driving ban. A driving conviction can also impact job prospects.
So far this year over 100,000 uninsured drivers have had their vehicle seized, with a third crushed.Back to News Archive