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Motoring law: Uninsured vehicle owners to face harsher laws and fines

From next month, owners of uninsured vehicles will face considerably stricter laws and could even be fined without actually driving their car.

The government will launch an advertising campaign to publicise the new rules that will come into force from 20 June.

The new law will ensure that anyone who owns an uninsured vehicle can be prosecuted, instead of only being caught by the police while driving.

Currently, the police can use number plate recognition technology while patrolling. The number plates are checked against a database and this can be time consuming. The new system will enable the police to target the most serious offenders who drive unregistered cars.

It is estimated that 1.4 million motorists driving around the UK are uninsured. These drivers are responsible for 160 deaths and 23,000 injuries every year, and they cost £500million in extra premiums to law-abiding motorists.

Under the new system, owners of uninsured cars will be sent letters reminding them to get insured. If they fail to comply, they face £100 fines and court action. If the motorist still does nothing, or even if they only pay the fine, their vehicle could be clamped, seized and destroyed.

They may also have to attend court and pay fines up to £1,000.

Mike Penning, Road Safety minister, claimed the new law will leave uninsured drivers with "nowhere to hide".

He said: "Our message is clear - get insured or face a fine, court action or seeing your car seized and destroyed."

The Motor Insurers' Bureau hopes that the new law will mean drivers keep their vehicles insured all the time. They said that the new enforcement rules are important since "around four percent of vehicles have no motor insurance at any given time, and this needs to change".

Related links:
Read more on this story (BBC)
Read about the Motor Insurance Database (FindLaw)
Find a local motoring solicitor in your area (FindLaw)