With the spectre of motorists driving without valid motor car insurance raising its ugly head yet again, new reports have emerged that the Government, with the help of Ernst & Young, is working to put a stop to the dangerous practice.
A recent article appearing in The Daily Telegraph revealed a plan to fit garage forecourts with cameras equipped with automatic number plate recognition technology. These cameras would record the plates of anyone nearby, with the details used to cross-reference against databases kept by car insurance companies, with the end result being that anyone who was found not to have valid insurance cover would be barred from filling up.
Around 1.2 million Brits take to the road without at least discount car insurance, recent research has shown. These drivers not only pose a risk to other users of the road, but they also raise car insurance rates by around £30 for every honest motorist, as the costs incurred by car crashes caused by uninsured drivers must be absorbed by the industry as a whole.
However, this new solution to the problem, which could see the new tech used to combat uninsured driving, could be useful in catching criminals. But, while the technology may be a useful step, it may be far from foolproof, according to one AA spokesman.
Criminals can still find their way around the problem, the spokesperson explained, as once the word spreads that a given petrol station has the new technology, they will instead find an alternative. A stolen numberplate would fool the cameras, and taking a clean car into the garage before switching the fuel over would work as well, he said, though the easiest option would be to simply choose a garage which was not fitted with the specific cameras.