§ 12. Mr. Nicholas Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what action he will take to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on roads in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
Driving without insurance is illegal. Reducing uninsured driving involves vehicle owners and drivers, insurers, enforcement authorities and the Government. The road traffic law review is considering possible changes to penalties, including those for insurance offences.
§ Mr. Baker
Is my hon. Friend aware of estimates suggesting that there are no fewer than 1 million uninsured drivers on the roads? Is he also aware that the insured drivers cough up and have to pay about £30 million a year towards the cost of meeting claims in respect of those uninsured drivers? Is it not time to consider a scheme whereby drivers are required to display on their vehicles some sort of disc to show that they have insurance cover?
§ Mr. Bottomley
The difficulty is that our insurance system varies from those of other countries that have such a system. Our insurance policies can contain exclusion clauses so that the vehicle may be covered for one driver, but not for others. The insurance would need to be vehicle-specific. Perhaps I can write to my hon. Friend giving details of some of the inhibitions.