I was looking forward eagerly to a recent television programme on uninsured driving and thinking that, at last we could get a strong message across. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way.

We saw some truly heart-rending examples of the victims of uninsured drivers and I was fully expecting the programme to cover what the industry was doing to beat the problem.

What we saw was clips of two police cars stopping drivers with the explanation that their respective forces were operating pilot schemes to combat uninsured driving. In the course of these features, there was only a passing mention of the motor insurance database (MID) being part of their equipment.

As I see it, this was a gilt edged opportunity to put MID into millions of living rooms at prime time on a Friday evening, but this was diluted to a vague reference to "a database".

Surely this would have been the chance to send a message to the uninsured drivers,their friends and their parents. This would also have been a good time to mention the 20,000 police hits a day MID is reported as receiving from police forces.

As far as I could see, the programme did very little to make a potential uninsured driver think again. On the costs side, we only had a brief reference to what uninsured driving costs the honest driver. I had hoped for more figures and illustrations to support the message and awaken public concern.

An appearance from a big hitter, from the Motor Insurance Bureau, from the MID, or from the insurers, would have been appropriate. The ABI spokesman spoke about premium rates for young drivers but not much else.

This would have been a good opportunity for our industry to attack the uninsured driver menace and at the same time, blow our own trumpet. It is about time the public knew just how hard we are trying to beat the uininsured driver.

Roy Rodger