cars kept on a driveway? insurance?

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cars kept on a driveway? insurance?

Post by falkor » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:11 pm

Motorists who leave their cars uninsured face fines of up to £1,000 even if they are locked away in a garage or kept on a driveway.
By David Millward, Transport Editor
Published: 10:00PM BST 15 Sep 2009

Image insurance?

Taxed but uninsured cars left on a public road could be clamped or seized under the new laws which are being unveiled by the Government.

The draconian new powers are intended to tackle an estimated two million uninsured motorists who, the Government says, are responsible for 160 deaths a year.

But the changes have angered civil liberty campaigners and also alarmed motoring groups who fear that law-abiding motorists could be penalised for innocent mistakes, such as allowing their insurance to lapse while they are on holiday.

At the moment, a motorist is only committing a crime if he or she drives while uninsured.

The new law will make it an offence to be the registered keeper of an uninsured car, whether or not the vehicle is being used and regardless of whether it has a valid tax disc or is kept on private property.

The only way to avoid a fine will be to go through the bureaucratic process of making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

This can only be done if the owner can find somewhere to store the vehicle. Uninsured vehicles left in the road would be clamped or seized, penalising those without driveways or private garages.

Some have voiced concerns the scheme will do little to stop unscrupulous drivers who never bother to insure vehicles, but could instead hit law-abiding motorists who unwittingly allow their insurance to lapse when they are working abroad or taking a holiday. It will rely on the motor insurance industry database that is currently used by the police.

A spokesman for the RAC Foundation said: “In principle this scheme is a good thing. But it must be flexible and take into account genuine situations where people have been unable to reinsure their cars – perhaps they are on holiday or have been called away on a family emergency.

“The point must be to catch criminals not alienate honest drivers.”

“This will hit innocent people,” added Gus Hosein, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and policy director at Privacy International.

“It doesn’t make sense. If a car is not being driven, why does it have to be insured? Many people in Britain don’t have access to a garage, what are they supposed to do if, for example, they are going away for a few months?

“This will hit law abiding people. You think you need insurance for activities you are actually doing. You don’t expect to have to be insured just because of a Government whim.”