In my local paper last week, an 18-year-old uninsured driver was fined £200 and six points for having no insurance, and a £25 fine and an endorsement for not having a full driving licence.

It is little wonder, with such a soft attitude to these offences, that offenders walk out of court laughing. Well, it's time to wipe the smiles off their smug faces.

The government review into uninsured motorists led by Professor David Greenaway is due to report shortly.

It is to be hoped that its conclusions will not be a fudge, but provide a strong lead for tough legislation.

The ABI has submitted to the review evidence calling for tougher measures, and estimates that one motorist in 20 is driving illegally, adding up to £30 to everyone's motor premiums and costing insurers £500m a year.

The Conservative Party, too, is endorsing much of the ABI's approach, and Shadow Transport Secretary Damian Green made the very sensible judgment that cracking down on dangerous drivers was better than an over-reliance on speed cameras.

The Motor Insurance Database (MID) was developed by insurers to help the police check on uninsured drivers, and Green's suggestion that the MID statistics be linked to the DVLA database is welcome. The technology is there, so use it.

If the Greenaway report grasps the nettle of this issue, then the government knows it can act with the full support of the Opposition, a comfortable win-win situation for ministers.

However, if the Greenaway report falls short of what is required, then the government knows it can beef it up and still get tougher measures through parliament with ease. But let's not mess about here - very tough measures are needed. The Conservatives are talking about confiscating vehicles.

That is right. The ABI points out that motor insurance is highly competitive, so it is affordable.

A first time offender caught without insurance cover should be automatically disqualified from driving for three years, and be required to present the renewed insurance once disqualification is over at a police station annually for a further three years.

Fines are useless. Offenders must be legally prevented from driving or even owning a vehicle, or driving a vehicle owned by someone else. That is the real deterrent.

And the offence should also carry a custodial sentence.

Any person found guilty three times of driving while uninsured should be banned from driving for life and face a stiff minimum prison sentence.

In addition, all vehicles should carry an insurance certificate displayed on the windscreen alongside the tax disc.

Let's drive the uninsured driver off the road - for good.