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BBC news reports today that there are around 1.4 million people currently driving on Britain’s roads without a valid car insurance policy and it is becoming an increasing problem.
As the number of drivers without car insurance goes up, there are more incidences of motorists who are involved in road accidents driving off without stopping, to avoid the penalties they will face from not having any car insurance.
Not only does this cause additional grief and distress to those victims who are involved in the accidents, it also costs the police extra time and money having to track down the drivers and prosecute them.
As a consequence, the police believe that reducing the amount of motorists driving without valid insurance would reduce the amount of potentially fatal accidents on the roads. At the moment, uninsured drivers are costing other motorists an extra £30 on top of the price of their car insurance and it is an ever increasing problem.
Part of the problem is undoubtedly the sheer cost of insurance – particularly for younger drivers. Even insuring a relatively cheap used cars can run to over £1000 for a newly qualified driver, and it is not unknown for even higher quotes to be given. Perhaps it is no wonder that increasing numbers of drivers are opting to take the risk of driving without insurance.
Official figures broadcast by the BBC today reveal that West Yorkshire, namely Bradford, is one of the worst areas for uninsured drivers in the country, with the numbers of uninsured drivers seven times higher than anywhere else.
When Leah Greaves, a local girl living in Bradford was interviewed, it was evident that her decision to choose public transport to get around was a sensible one, bearing in mind that the cost for her to be insured on her own car was estimated to be around £5000.
Leah described how she believed motorists would rather take the risks associated with driving without valid insurance, because ultimately the fines put in place for breaking this particular law still worked out cheaper than paying for a full year of car insurance.
Neil Drane from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau said: “We pay out hundreds of millions of pounds a year to innocent victims, and that ultimately gets fed back into the cost of honest motorist’s premiums. While we have been successful in reducing the levels of uninsured divers by twenty-five per cent, that feeds into that pricing structure, there is always many other factors which will dominate the price ultimately paid by the motorist.”
The report broadcast on the BBC1 Breakfast show this morning suggested that tougher penalties need to be put into place to prevent people from driving on the roads without a licence, but the question is what should these penalties be?