Tougher penalties would help deter uninsured driving

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GEM Motoring Assist said that more severe consequences would have "an immediate and significant impact in reducing road casualties" and would demonstrate a commitment to protecting vulnerable road users.

Currently, people who drive a vehicle on a road or in a public place without at least third party insurance face a fine of £300 and six penalty points. If the matter goes to court, the penalty can increase to an unlimited fine and disqualification from driving.

The police also have the power to seize and, in some cases, destroy the vehicle that was being driven uninsured.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: "Uninsured driving costs at least £250m per annum. Uninsured drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision, and 10 times more likely to have a drink drive conviction. That's why we believe the time has come to disqualify drivers and riders who deliberately fail to insure their vehicles.

"Using our roads is not an automatic right for an individual, and must always come with responsibilities, including the requirement in UK law to ensure you have appropriate vehicle insurance."

If you suspect a vehicle may be uninsured, you should contact the police using the non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"You can also check that your own vehicle has a valid insurance policy recorded on the Motor Insurance Database (askMID.com)," Worth explained. "This service is free to use and will immediately tell you if your vehicle is registered."

What do you think -- should drivers face automatic disqualification for uninsured driving?

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