Friday, 23 January 2009

Getting It Right Sometimes

I think it is easy to have a moan here and there about things and not highlight other areas where there has been sensible progress. As I've mentioned before I'm not a persecuting motorists sort of officer, having done my share in my probation several years ago.

I do draw the line at no insurance offences. No matter who you are and what excuse you throw up you are going in the book. I was always a bit peeved to leave a car at roadside having reported a no insurance bandit. "Now you have to leave it here and get somebody to remove it otherwise you will commit a further offence". Invariably you'd cruise past a short time time later and the car was gone, I suspect driven by the original uninsured driver. He or she would then have to wait several months for a summons in the post. Many would get away with a producer and there was always the risk of being had over with duff particulars.

Now all insurance details are available on the police national computer for instant checking. I've found it to be a pretty reliable process and you can always carry out other checks if need be. The best thing however is to be able to seize the car and remove it to a pound. It can only be retrieved by producing valid insurance and paying a fee of £100+. If you are eligible and don't have too many points on your licence, you will be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice for £200 with 6 points attached. Nobody can be against this, with uninsured drivers adding a premium to the policies of all the law abiding majority.

I was block walking a few months back and looking out from high above. I saw a Mini Cooper down below manoeuvring having let a passenger out. The car was then waiting and I deemed it worthy of a look, just in case of some estate drug action. A check prior to swooping flagged it up as having no insurance. The driver turns out to be a young lady, who states she is insured. Of course she isn't and comes clean eventually. This car was immaculate and she'd owned it about four months. It had been purchased for just under a five figure sum and her excuse was that with the finance payments she couldn't afford the insurance on top. She actually thought she should receive a verbal warning for this. I pointed out that perhaps she should be driving a less expensive motor and living within her means.

Don't forget if she has an accident with your car and you don't have fully comprehensive cover you will be paying all your own bills through her selfish attitude. I think she would have still been quids up estimating how much her insurance should have been, but having to travel to the other side of the metropolis to collect her car adds to the inconvenience. It was well worth waiting over an hour for a recovery truck to remove it even though it was raining.

A nice little change in the law where the legislators listened to the police - eventually!!

8 comments:

stuart said...

If I was hit by an uninsured driver, would I be able to sue to claim back expenses caused?

I imagine if the answer is yes, then that will also mean getting them to a small claims court or something, and then it would be deducted from whatever they earn as a quid a week or something...

Stressed Out Cop said...

Stuart

You are right it is civil redress -but they don't have to pay, you might have to get the baliffs in.

There is a bureau where you can claim but I think it's for serious injury involving uninsured drivers. Rather like CICA but funded by insurance companies.

SOC

R/T said...

Yeah - we like the sec 165, RTA in the great Metropolis. Is your BOCU "Reclaim" live yet? Have the motor away and then the small matter of £200 and 6 points. That'll ruin your day!

Ex-RUC said...

Fully agree, Stressed Out Cop. I always used to treat uninsured use as an automatic summons, maybe even an arrest and charge if the driver was from outside the jurisdiction or a traveller driving on the local site's one and only driving licence (a RoI one with no photo).

PC Plastic Fuzz said...

Agreed. This was one that pissed me off a lot, actually.

Anonymous said...

It appears you're very much with friends on that one - Op Reclaim suspended, too full up, too popular!

(For crims getting ideas, there are still other ways for us to take your motor, don't get excited)

Area Trace No Search said...

I agree, it's great.

Before I had to call the council to take the cars away ... ;-)

Hibbo said...

Just a pity that your speed cameras don't spot uninsured drivers.

PS. I thought motoring offences didn't count as 'detections'?

PPS. I know ANPR does...