Companies could expect their premiums to tumble if the UK's estimated one million uninsured drivers were taken off the road, experts claim. Three-quarters of motorists are concerned about the problem and nine out of 10 believe the Government should do more to tackle the problem.
The findings are revealed in a new survey produced by insurance giant Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA), which estimates that reducing the number of uninsured drivers by just a third could save the 'honest motorist' £250 million.
For fleets, this could amount to a massive saving of about £100 million. The survey found that a third of respondents want to see offenders taken off the road for good by backing a total driving ban for those caught, while the same amount want the driver's vehicle to be confiscated.
A total of 16% of respondents want to see those caught put in prison. From September, a number of police forces will adopt the use of an 'automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, following a pilot testing phase carried out by some 23 police forces.
It works using hi-tech video cameras which record images of car numberplates and is linked to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the police and the Motor Insurers' Database. Ray Cox, UK underwriting director for R&SA said: 'It's time the uninsured driving issue was placed firmly at top of the Government's motoring agenda.
'We are pleased that schemes like the automatic numberplate recognition initiative is due to be up and running soon to help cut the number of uninsured drivers, which could also save lives.
'Royal & SunAlliance would heartily back any initiative to curb uninsured driving crimes. Some schemes may be more effective than others, but what's important is that more is done now to identify and deal with these criminals.
Our research shows that this is an issue that worries many motorists and it's about time their minds are put at rest.'A report into uninsured driving produced by insurance company Direct Line earlier this year showed that a lack of police presence on the road made uninsured drivers believe it as easy to avoid detection. It added that seven out of 10 uninsured drivers under the age of 29 'do not lose any sleep' over driving without insurance.
The reason that six out of 10 motorists drive without insurance is because they believe they are unlikely to be involved in an accident that is their own fault, the report found.
Figures produced in the report showed that uninsured drivers were 10 times more likely to have been convicted of drink driving than insured drivers.