Northumbria Police is this week supporting a national campaign to tackle uninsured drivers.
The initiative, spearheaded by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), comes as figures show that in 2016 there were more than 146,000 uninsured vehicles seized by police nationally, an increase of 20 per cent from the previous year.
The week-long campaign, which started on Monday and runs until Sunday, aims to raise awareness of the problem and target offenders with additional patrols taking place.
Police want to make it clear that it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure they have fully paid their insurance and that their address details are correct.
Every year, an average of 130 people are killed by uninsured drivers across the UK.
In 2016, the Motor Insurance Bureau received more than 27,000 claims relating to uninsured and untraced drivers. So far in 2017, this figure has increased by more than 10 per cent.
Chief Inspector Dave Guthrie, head of Northumbria’s Motor Patrols Department, said: “The law is clear, drivers without valid insurance cover can face an unlimited fine, a minimum of six penalty points on their licence or a potential disqualification. Their vehicle will be seized and to reclaim it the owner will have to pay recovery fees – a minimum charge of £150 plus storage costs of £20 per 24-hour period – and must provide proof of valid insurance before the vehicle will be returned to them.
“Our message is clear – don’t run the risk of being caught, make sure your insurance is valid and covers all those who drive with it if you don’t want to pay the penalty.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “Anyone can have an accident on the road and if you hurt yourself, hurt someone else or worse still cause a death, you will be in very serious trouble if you were not insured. And you will feel awful for the rest of your life that you did that damage and weren’t able, through your insurance to give support to the people whose lives were badly affected. Get fully insured now.”