Cars Behind Bars was instigated by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and has proved very popular with people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The campaign has seen cars, vans, motorcycles, mopeds, lorries and even a tractor seized, with many vehicles scrapped, since it was launched less than a year ago in May 2013.
Mr Ellis said, “The zero tolerance approach on insurance dodgers has become the most popular thing raised with me by people I’ve spoken to across Staffordshire. It’s definitely struck a chord with law-abiding motorists who are hit by rising premiums because of these law-breakers.
“Over 1,250 people have already had to learn their lesson the hard way. Those who drive without insurance can’t hide in Staffordshire. They are being caught and dealt with by having their vehicles seized and, in some cases, scrapped.
“It’s clear that the message is hitting home as the number of insured motorists on Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent roads has risen significantly during the crackdown.”
Cars Behind Bars uses Staffordshire’s extensive automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system that identifies those flouting the law and some of the vehicles seized since the campaign launched can be viewed by clicking here.
The fixed penalty fine for people who are caught without insurance was increased nationally from £200 to £300 in August 2013. Motorists also face their car being seized, could be summoned to court and be disqualified, and an endorsement of six penalty points. Drivers re-claiming their car when they have proof of insurance have to pay £150 car recovery costs plus £20 per day storage.