Over 2,000 Vehicles Seized in Uninsured Driver Crackdown
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
One year after the introduction of their "Cars Behind Bars" initiative, Staffordshire Police have revealed figures that show they seized an astonishing 2,009 vehicles in just over 12 months, generating £35,000 for local community projects through the auctioning off of high-value vehicles that remained unclaimed by their owners.
The fixed penalty issued to UK drivers who flaunt the law by failing to insure their vehicles rose from £200 to £300 last year, but Staffordshire Police have taken an even stronger stance on drivers who take to the road without insurance.
Under the operation, uninsured drivers are identified using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems in fixed and mobile cameras located across the county. This information is then fed to traffic police, who stop the drivers on the road and confiscate their car.
Drivers are subsequently given the opportunity to reclaim their vehicle, once they have obtained valid car insurance and paid costs of £150 plus £20 per day for vehicle storage. 100% of the proceeds are used to fund local schemes to improve the community.
According to the BBC, the 2,009 uninsured vehicles seized since the Cars Behind Bars initiative began includes cars, vans and motorbikes; and radio station Signal1 say that a tractor was also taken by officers, after the driver failed to produce the required insurance documents.
Photos of seized vehicles are publicly displayed on the Staffordshire Police Flickr page, and visitors can see the range of drivers and vehicles that ventured out without insurance.
Speaking to The Stoke Sentinel, Staffordshire Police Chief Superintendent Jon Drake commented that, "uninsured drivers pose other drivers a lot of risk and it's a very selfish act."
Meanwhile, Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis was keen to emphasise the positive effect that the scheme was having on Staffordshire's highways, telling reporters:
"The scheme has been a success so far and it is not a coincidence that Staffordshire is the only place in the country where the numbers of uninsured drivers are going down."