Although destroying vehicles may sound extreme, the measure is being lauded by many who charge that uninsured driving is a danger to the roads—and, by extension, the honest policyholders traveling on them.
“This is a serious offense,” said Ashton West, chief executive of the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), which was established in 1946 to compensate victims of negligent uninsured motorists. “[Uninsured drivers] cause accidents that result in about 160 deaths each year, with more than 23,000 people injured.”
These injuries—and the resultant insurance claims—drive up auto insurance costs.
Data suggests that an estimated 1.4 million drivers maneuver British roadways without proper coverage. The CIE law stipulates that, upon receipt of a written notice, registered owners of uninsured vehicles can either secure coverage immediately or declare that the vehicle will be kept “off the road,” alerting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Failure to abide will result in a fine of 100 euros, leading to the uninsured vehicle being clamped, seized, or possibly crushed. Owners could also face time behind bars. Road Safety Minister Mike Penning noted that, in addition to posing dangers, uninsured driving consumes vital resources.
“CIE will help us take targeted action while freeing up police time to deal with the [more] hard core offenders,” he said.
West expressed similar optimism in backing the newly enacted law, which he called the “final piece in the jigsaw against uninsured [driving].”