It has been reported that the Government is considering a plan that will identify uninsured drivers on garage forecourts when at the fuel pumps. Cameras that are already installed to prevent motorists from driving off without paying for fuel would be used to cross reference number plates with the DVLA database and any vehicle that shows it is without insurance or tax would be prevented from filling up.
Accountants Ernst & Young are currently working with the Prime Ministers’ Office. Graeme Swan a partner at Ernst & Young said “following a presentation with officials at Number 10, where we suggested the approach, Government is now looking to move this policy forward. The key to this is simplicity. Connecting the existing technology is relatively inexpensive and wouldn’t be a big information technology programme. There shouldn’t be concerns about ‘big brother’ because there is no new database, no vehicles are tracked and no record is kept. It’s simply a new rule of no insurance equals no fuel. The forecourts would have to allow access to their ANPR and fuel dispensation systems but they could be compensated by the insurance industry, which will make significant savings on claims.”
According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which is funded by insurers to compensate victims of uninsured drivers, there are about 1.2m rogue motorists on the road today. Police figures show that 10% of drivers in London do not have insurance cover, followed by 9.5% in Merseyside and 8.3% in Manchester. An MIB spokesman said “you are twice as likely to be hit by an uninsured driver in London than anywhere else in the UK.”
It is claimed by Co-operative Insurance that most offenders are young men who believe that the fines if caught work out less than the cost of insurance. The Motoring Organisation AA point out that once drivers are convicted insurance quotes increase which results in the risk of creating a criminal underclass on the roads.