East London tops UK list of places with most uninsured cars – The Guardian

Posted: Sunday, July 03, 2016

One in eight cars on the roads in east London do not have insurance, according to analysis which names the capital as the worst place in Britain for uninsured drivers.

About 216,000 of the capital’s 3.9m cars do not have insurance, with north and south-east London also featuring in the list of uninsured hotspots, research by the insurer Churchill found.

Drivers involved in an accident in these areas face a significant risk of finding the other driver has no legal or financial protection.

But just one in 71 Scots drive without insurance and only one in 73 in the south-west of England.

Across the UK there are estimated to be more than a million uninsured motorists.

Churchill said it wanted a tougher crackdown by the police and heftier fines. Mark Chiappino of Churchill said: “The number of uninsured vehicles on the roads is alarming. Car insurance is a legal requirement but hundreds of thousands of motorists continue to flout the law.

“Drivers across the UK are paying higher premiums as a result of unscrupulous drivers that fail to insure their vehicles. We are calling for a greater recognition of the risks of uninsured motoring in the UK and far tougher penalties for those convicted of this offence.”

In 2011 the Metropolitan police launched Operation Cubo to tackle the issue. It said that since then, a total of 119,000 cars had been seized in the capital – about one-third of the total across the UK.

The Met said that since 2011 it had increased roadside checkpoints, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), fixed cameras and routine number plate checks.

Among the cars seized, it found firearms, other weapons, and large quantities of cash and drugs. Around a quarter of the 119,000 cars taken were subsequently scrapped or auctioned.

In an effort to make drivers aware of the issue – and to encourage the uninsured to take out cover – Churchill said it was taking out digital advertising boards in London, Manchester and Birmingham that would register passing vehicles and display how many cars were likely to be uninsured.

League table of the UK’s top 10 uninsured vehicle hotspots
League table of the UK’s top 10 uninsured vehicle hotspots

Churchill’s figures are based on an analysis of Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) data. Ashton West of the MIB said: “Only four years ago, east London was the home of the Olympics, a focus of immense pride. Today it’s been given a less welcome title: that of the home of uninsured driving.

“But actually it’s a nationwide issue and affects many other key UK cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and Leeds. MIB is committed to raising awareness about the problem and driving down levels of uninsured driving.”

An uninsured driver from Teesside was jailed last week after he crashed into another motorist and then dragged him along the road. The driver, Robert Bowe, 41, was three times the drink-driving limit at the wheel of his partner’s car.

Another uninsured driver, Kyle Owen Perkins, 26, who had been drinking alcohol and had taken drugs, was jailed for seven years in April after he killed his passenger Samantha Jo Davies, 19.

Her mother, Deborah Smith, told Wales Online she was angry his driving ban starts while he serves his prison sentence and wants the law changed.

Insurers say that if a driver is involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, they should attempt to take down the vehicle registration number, make and model of the car, the driver’s contact details and the names and addresses of any independent witnesses who can help confirm who is at fault.


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