Uninsured car drivers increased fines or prison
Among the motoring offence reforms being introduced by the government next month is an increase in the fixed penalty for driving without insurance, from £200 to £300.
This is considerably less than the typical £1,750 cost of car insurance for a young motorist with no convictions and a clean licence, aged 17-22.
Although the increase is welcome, is it enough to deter those who habitually drive without insurance cover?
Due to the seriousness of the offence, offenders could be sent to court or and face a maximum fine of £5,000, although this has never been imposed.
Yet although the penalties are already severe, it's argued that increasing fines is not the way forward because for those who can't pay them currently will not be able to pay any increase.
So what's a more effective deterrent?
Currently, habitual drivers that flout the law know the risk of getting caught is minimal or just bad luck. Perhaps if uninsured drivers knew they'd be more quickly caught then that will act as a more effective deterrent?
Police campaigns like those in Basildon Essex recently saw a number of drivers caught for driving without valid insurance.
If we saw an increase in police patrols equipped with automatic number plate-recognition technology, which is used to identify vehicles without insurance, an MoT, or tax, drivers might reconsider the likelihood of getting caught.
The AA wants the government to take a much tougher line with uninsured drivers, particularly those who offend time and again.
Is prison the way to tackle uninsured drivers?
The AA says that in extreme cases the courts should impose electronic tags or prison sentences.
Either way, we need a tough, no-compromise approach to uninsured drivers which should include effective measures to help improve road safety and reduce the costs for legal drivers.
What do you think?
What's the best way to tackle uninsured drivers: fines, imprisonment, or is there another way?
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