January 14, 2011

State held insurer Direct Line is helping to give insurance a human face by lambasting poor road safety minister Mike Penning over the puny penalties he’s proposing for motor insurance dodgers.

Anyone caught keeping an uninsured vehicle (unless they’ve officially registered it as being off the road), Penners announced this week, will incur penalties ranging from receiving a letter to a fine of £100 (£50 if promptly paid).

Direct Line motor underwriting geezer Andy Goldbug has said: “With uninsured drivers costing British society around £500 million each year, the severity of penalties must act as a deterrent to those considering driving without insurance.”

The new measures would put keeping an uninsured vehicle roughly on a par with forgetting to pay the London congestion charge. It seems unlikely malfeasants will yet be quaking in their proverbials. So maybe Goldbug has a point.

Direct Lime claims to have done some “research” proving that “UK motorists want to see immediate fines of around £900 for those caught driving uninsured,” and, slightly disturbingly, that 77% of us want an informer’s hotline or website where we can dob-in fellow citizens of the uninsured persuasion.

If you’d like to hear Mike Penning taking a tougher line, click here for an almost completely unadulterated recording of his recent interview on the BBC’s You and Youse programme.


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