MP calls for tougher penalties for uninsured motorists

A Lincolnshire MP has called for tougher penalties for motorists who drive without insurance.

Karl McCartney, Conservative MP for Lincoln, made his appeal after he commissioned an online survey asking constituents for their views.

The survey showed that 78% of people thought that uninsured drivers involved in serious accidents should receive an automatic prison sentence.

Twelve per cent had been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Strong deterrent

Mr McCartney said: "It is one of those crimes that can really undermine and shake peoples' belief in the rule of law, if someone who is caught is not punished strongly enough.

"It is an issue that needs far more attention," he said.

He added that people making high personal injury claims were also adding to the cost of car insurance.

"The average payment for a whiplash claim is £3,200 and there are 1,200 claims each day," he said.

Ian Crowder, from the AA, said: "We do think that the fines are offensive to those people who suffer an accident through an uninsured driver.

"But the trouble is that you are dealing with a motoring underclass, often the kind of people who are driving without insurance already have extensive bans and just go on to reoffend."

Police figures showed that the average fine for driving without insurance in Lincolnshire was £233 (based on the last available figures for 2008).

More than 100 people took part in the survey.

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