6 February 2012
Brake, the road safety charity
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney has been awarded a Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award by the charity Brake and Direct Line for his campaign for tougher penalties for uninsured drivers.
In October Karl asked a question in Parliament revealing that the average fine for driving an uninsured vehicle is just £200, approximately four times less than the average annual cost of insurance. This encouraged Karl to start a campaign calling for fines to be much higher, to provide a real deterrent from breaking the law.
People who drive uninsured are more likely to crash than other drivers and cause tragic deaths and injuries. In 2011 research from Direct Line and Brake revealed that one in 10 drivers report having been in a collision with an uninsured driver. Uninsured driving also costs the average driver, as the cost of crashes caused by uninsured people are passed on through insurance premiums.
Karl has asked several questions in Parliament and given a speech on the issue. He also ran a survey in Lincoln asking his constituents' views on uninsured drivers. This revealed 50% want the fine for uninsured driving to be £900 or more and 77% feel that if someone causes a serious crash while uninsured they should go to prison. Karl has written a report and a ten point plan to achieve his goals. These include:
- An insurance sticker in every windscreen proving a car is insured, like the tax disc;
- Far tougher sentences for those caught driving uninsured, with the minimum fine in each area being double the average insurance cost in the area for the age and gender of the person caught;
- Automatic disqualification for people caught driving uninsured, for at least one year, and at least five years for subsequent offences.
Karl has pledged to continue campaigning until uninsured driving becomes socially unacceptable, there are far tougher penalties, and it is eradicated from our roads.
Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: "Research shows people who drive uninsured are more likely to crash and cause tragic deaths and injuries, so it's vital we see action to remove these highly irresponsible and illegal drivers from our roads. We congratulate Karl on his campaign to tackle uninsured driving and urge government to listen to his calls for action, which make perfect sense in protecting the public from these rogue drivers."
Karl McCartney MP said: "I was surprised to be honoured to be Brake's parliamentarian of the month for my campaign to tackle uninsured drivers and am grateful for their support in this matter. For far too long, politicians have turned a blind eye towards the issue of dealing with uninsured drivers, even though it undermines confidence in the justice system and penalises the law-abiding. Throughout this Parliament I shall continue to press for appropriate punishments for such crimes. We cannot have these people laughing at those who act responsibly and within the laws of this land anymore."
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 65 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum scheme, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.
Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK1 and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com
Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG.