It’s tempting, isn’t it; not renewing your insurance? Owning and running a vehicle is one thing, but keeping it roadworthy and ensuring your administrative duties as the owner are up-to-date is another matter entirely. Simply getting from ‘A’ to ‘B’ shouldn’t feel like a drain on your finances, but owning a motorcycle is expensive and too many of us don’t take seem to view insurance policies as a necessity.
The DVLA (the Driver ad Vehicle Licensing Authority) and the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau) have had enough; faced with a high number of insurance-dodging motorcyclists, they are having a crack-down on the worst offenders. A new initiative masterminded by the DVLA and the MIB has been designed to highlight the consequences of driving without adequate insurance; riders face 6-8 penalty points on their license (out of a possible 15 before suspension of license automatically results), or a whopping £200 fine.
The fine levied where a driver is found to be driving uninsured can jump up to £5000 in the most serious of cases (i.e. where the driver has repeatedly been found driving without insurance cover), with the driver’s vehicle confiscated or even destroyed in some cases. Even motorcycle’s which aren’t currently in use must be insured, to protect the owner in the event that a stationary vehicle results in a crash with another vehicle or road user.
There is only one exception; one situation in which an uninsured driver Is not liable for a fine. This is where the vehicle has been officially (i.e. via the appropriate administrators) declared SORN (statutory off-road notice). This is an official declaration that the vehicle in question is ‘off-road’; the declaration usually lasts for periods of twelve months, during which time the vehicle in question is not available for use.
The initiative poses a real threat to uninsured motorcyclists; CCTV and ANPR cameras now cover as many as fourteen million vehicle license plates on a daily basis; and yours could quite easily be the next one that they see. The DVLA and MIB are now working in tandem to cross-check information and share data relating to uninsured drivers, making it much tougher to get away with driving uninsured.
Not only are the DVLA and MIB working together to combat uninsured drivers; the number of police checks are also stepping up to monitor motorcyclists who can evade front-facing CCTV equipment. This initiative makes roads safer for all concerned, and encourages riders to take responsibility for themselves; let’s welcome it as a great move forward, and as a way of encouraging riders to take responsibility for themselves.