The United Kingdom has had a troubled past with uninsured motorists. The government decries the lack of insurance coverage as an unnecessary and dangerous risk. To combat the plight, the Department of Transportation has instituted a new system, which they are calling Continuous Insurance Enforcement. Drivers who fail to renew or otherwise obtain insurance coverage will have their vehicle clamped, seized and destroyed.
The initiative has drawn outrage from the nation’s motorists. Motoring groups warn that innocent drivers will be at risk of having their vehicles taken away should they forget to renew their insurance while on vacation or having been admitted to the hospital. The road safety minister, Mike Penning, rebukes these concerns, saying that drivers will receive ample enough warning in the form of a letter, which will be accompanied by a small fee, before any action is taken.
The only way to both insurance and clamps is to make a formal declaration that the vehicle in question will never be driven under any circumstance.
To carry out the new law, the government has given workers with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency the authority to clamp and seize vehicles wherever they may be. “These new powers will help us make targeted actions while freeing police to deal with the more serious offenders,” says Penning.
Uninsured drivers account for some 23,000 injuries throughout the nation each year. The financial implications of these injuries, for both individuals and insurers, are too great to ignore, insists Penning.
The measure will not be fully instituted until the middle of June. Drivers are being encouraged to double check the renewal date of their policies before then.