Proposals in 12-week consultation include harsh penalties and seizure of cars

The government has taken a big step towards introducing long-awaited legislation on uninsured driving with the launch of a 12-week consultation on “continuous insurance enforcement” (CIE).

Biba and the ABI have welcomed the move to create shared databases that will identify people who own uninsured cars. Harsh new penalties are also proposed, including the possible seizure of uninsured vehicles.

But Graeme Trudgill, Biba’s technical and corporate affairs executive, warned that the measures could still take up to two years to pass into law, and urged the government to act as quickly as possible.

He said: “We would like to see action now. We have never seen the government campaign against driving uninsured cars – we need this to be seriously and professionally promoted as soon as possible.”

He added that Biba also supported the plan that the owners of uninsured cars be fined and, if they failed to respond, would have their cars seized.

Uninsured drivers are responsible for 160 deaths and 23,000 injuries every year, said Biba. These accidents add £30 to every motor premium, it added.

Biba and the Motor Insurers Bureau have been campaigning for CIE for more than five years.

Jim Fitzpatrick, the road safety minister, said: “The selfish minority of drivers who refuse to insure their cars push up premiums for other motorists and kill or injure thousands of people each year. Increased police powers already mean more than 400 uninsured vehicles are seized every day, but these tough new measures will leave them with nowhere to hide.”