New rules that come into force in the middle of next month will require that all car owners have their vehicles insured, regardless of whether they drive them, and those that don’t may be fined.
A new advertising campaign is being launched to increase awareness of the new ruling, which will come into place on June 20th.
It is believed that around 1.4million motorists currently do not have insurance for their car, a staggeringly high number, and not all of those cars are not driven.
Uninsured drivers can only be prosecuted at the moment if they are caught driving the car, which means that if they avoid the police, they currently get away with it, putting everyone else at risk.
Despite police number plate recognition technology which is attached to police vans which carry out random checks, the procedure takes up a lot of police time to enforce.
The new rules will see motorists fined for owning the vehicle, regardless of whether they drive the car or not, and a letter will be sent to each of the 1.4million drivers warning them.
Those drivers who ignore the letter and choose not to insure it will be fined £100, and further ignorance of the rules will result in court action that could see the car clamped, seized or destroyed.
The only exempt cars will be those declared off the road, although this seems an obvious loophole for those who refuse to pay for car insurance, and will most likely not be too fussed about paying their road tax either.
Government ministers claim the changes will allow the police to concentrate more of their time and efforts on catching offenders who drive unregistered cars, which the police systems cannot trace.
Mike Penning, the road safety minister explained, “Uninsured drivers are a danger on our roads, killing 160 and injuring a further 23,000 people each year, and they cost honest motorists £500m in extra premiums.
“That is why we are introducing this tough new law which will leave uninsured drivers with nowhere to hide.
“Our message is clear – get insured or face a fine, court action or seeing your car seized and destroyed.”
Chief executive at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, Ashton West, believes the change in law is a “stepping up of enforcement activity”.
“Now the registered keeper must make sure that their vehicle is insured all the time.
“Around four per cent of vehicles have no motor insurance at any given time, and this needs to change so that is why this new enforcement approach is so important.”