The Scottish Government has outlined its legislative priorities for 2012-13, in which Scottish Ministers aim to create a safer and stronger Scotland....
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As the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) law to tackle uninsured motoring reaches its one year anniversary, statistics show good progress but also that that there is still work to be done as there are an estimated 1.2 million uninsured drivers on our roads.
Under the scheme it is an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle. The DVLA database is cross-checked with the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and a letter is sent to the vehicle keeper to alert them that no insurance record can be found, which will result in penalties and fines if no action is taken.
Research carried out after the new law was rolled out last year revealed that while the general awareness of the legislation is good (65%), there is still more than a third (35%) of adults stating that they ‘definitely don’t know’ about the change in law. The survey also highlights that almost half of 16 – 24-year-olds (46%) are unaware of the change in law.
Roads Safety Minister, Mike Penning said: “It is reassuring to note that so many motorists have an awareness of the rules and that the number of uninsured drivers has dropped.
“However, we are not complacent and that is why we continue to remind motorists that if they receive a warning letter they should take action immediately by getting insurance or contacting the DVLA to declare their vehicle off the road.
“Failure to act will result in a fine, court action or seeing your car seized and destroyed.”
Fines collection is at its highest rate ever in Scotland. A report issued by the Scottish Court Service shows that 88% of the value of sheriff court fines imposed over a three year period from 2008 to 2011 has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.
In re-enforcing the message that all outstanding fines will be robustly pursued, targeted action has been taken in Glasgow against fines defaulters who have made no payment towards their Fiscal fine or Police anti-social behaviour fixed penalty.
A range of tactics were used to pursue offenders including tracing facilities and out of hours telephone calls.
Since 2008, more than 400,900 enforcement orders have been granted by the courts and officers have agreed revised terms in almost 130,900 accounts.
In looking to use technology as much as possible, a new automated system for processing benefit deductions has freed up staff time to pursue fine defaulters and nearly a quarter of a million pounds was collected in the last six months through automatic benefit deductions.
Most fines, including parking or police tickets, can now be paid online. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving licence with penalty points cannot be paid electronically including some police traffic tickets and penalties issued by Safety Camera Partnerships for speeding or running a red light. In these instances offenders can post their licence or take it in person to any Scottish court.