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Number of uninsured drivers falls

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The number of people driving without motor insurance has fallen, figures show

The number of people driving without motor insurance has fallen, figures show

The number of people driving without motor insurance has fallen, figures show

The number of people driving without motor insurance has fallen by 20% during the past four years, figures have shown.

An estimated 1.5 million motorists were on the roads despite not having insurance cover during 2009, down from 1.8 million in 2005, according to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

But despite the reduction, it is still estimated that 4% of drivers in the UK do not have any cover, the highest level in Western Europe.

Every year uninsured drivers in the UK kill 160 people and injure 23,000, costing insurers around £500 million and adding the equivalent of £30 to the cost of policies. Four of five top hotspots for uninsured drivers between 2007 and 2009 were in Birmingham, with Small Heath taking the top slot, followed by Bordesley and Saltley.

Barkerend in Bradford had the highest proportion of uninsured drivers, between 1997 - when the Motor Insurers' Bureau first started collecting data - and 2009, followed by West Gorton in Manchester, and Small Heath in Birmingham.

The Metropolitan area had the highest number of uninsured vehicles in terms of police forces, with an estimated one in 10 motorists in the capital not having insurance.

Police are continuing to crack down on uninsured drivers by using automatic number plate recognition technology and information from the Motor Insurance Database, which holds details on the 34 million insured vehicles in the UK. They seized 180,000 uninsured vehicles last year, taking the total to 600,000 since laws were first introduced in 2005.

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Motorists who drive without insurance face a £200 fine, six penalty points and having their vehicle seized. They will also have to pay a £150 car recovery charge and buy valid insurance in order to have their vehicle returned. If they do not do this within 14 days, the car can be crushed or sold.

Ashton West, chief executive of the Motor Insurers' Bureau, said: "The 20% reduction in the number of uninsured drivers on the roads is a significant step in the right direction, particularly in key hotspots such as Barkerend in Bradford and West Gorton in Manchester.

"The level of seizures and criminal convictions demonstrates that uninsured drivers are consistently being caught and removed from the road. We understand that times are tough and finances may be squeezed but motor insurance is a legal requirement. Even though the number of new claims reported to MIB is reducing, the costs to the industry and ultimately the honest motorist are just too high."


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