ALMOST 70 vehicles have been seized after being driven without insurance in just one week.

A police crackdown on uninsured drivers, which took place across Teesside and County Durham from Monday, November 12 for a week, saw 68 vehicles seized for not being insured and two for having no tax.

Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit joined other police forces around the UK to help remove uninsured drivers from the roads and help protect road users.

The unit said uninsured drivers were often involved in a range of criminal activities.

Every year there are hundreds of incidents where an uninsured driver is found without a driving licence or using an untaxed or stolen vehicle.

Records also show these kind of offenders are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A high number of collisions involve uninsured drivers.

In 2017, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) received 11,000 claims from victims of uninsured drivers, with hundreds of people who had suffered catastrophic, life changing injuries.

Inspector Darren Breslin, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Taking uninsured vehicles off our roads protects other road users and that is our goal.

"Not only do uninsured drivers put other motorists in danger, they also often commit secondary offences such as drugs offences and denying them the use of the roads can prevent this further offending.

“Those drivers found without insurance face having their vehicle seized, six points on their licence, a £300 fine and possible prosecution through court.”

MIB supports victims of uninsured and hit and run drivers by providing a last resort for claims and compensation.

The annual cost to compensate these victims comes to over £100 million and is funded by the motor insurance premiums of those motorists who are insured.

Police forces can immediately see if a driver has insurance due to automatic number plate recognition cameras, along with data shared from the Motor Insurance database. Uninsured drivers face having their vehicle seized, six penalty points on their licences, a fixed penalty fee of £300, and a fee to release the car. Then they will have to buy valid insurance which is likely to be a higher premium than it would have been before being caught. If the case goes to court the fines are unlimited, and the uninsured driver could be disqualified from driving.

  • If a member of the public suspects a person is driving without insurance, they can report it to Cleveland Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.