Surge in uninsured vehicle seizures

Police seized more than 170,000 uninsured vehicles last year, more than double the number seized two years ago, figures have shown.

In 2006, 78,000 uninsured vehicles were seized, statistics from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) show.

In mid-2005 new legislation was introduced that gave police powers to seize vehicles which were being driven without insurance.

Improved access to the Motor Insurance Database and the national roll-out of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment has aided the crackdown.

Frank Whiteley, Acpo's ANPR head and Chief Constable at Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: "The growing number of vehicle seizures reflects a tremendous achievement by both the police service and the MIB. It demonstrates our joint commitment to eradicating the danger caused by uninsured drivers.

"Such offenders risk lives, injury to other road users and themselves, and damage to livelihoods and property. Driving without insurance is not a victimless crime. It is estimated that uninsured and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 every year."

He added: "Uninsured drivers are more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents, more likely to be non-compliant with other road traffic requirements and potentially involved in other criminal activity."

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