Why should we all pay higher vehicle insurance premiums because some don’t pay at all? In June 2013 after I was elected I asked the police to instigate a high profile crackdown on targeting uninsured drivers.
They, of course, dealt with uninsured vehicles when they came across them but the approach I instigated was more proactive with seizures of vehicles done in a high profile way to make sure road users and insurance dodgers saw what was happening. Staffordshire Police have done it with genuine gusto and many vehicles without insurance were also found not to be fit for the road. Other criminality has also been found where no insurance was the 'trigger'.
Cars in skips during road side insurance dodger operations and others that were seized but never collected by the owners were sold off with the money going to local communities through the Commissioner’s Proceeds of Crime Fund for community safety ideas.
The intense high profile approach has made a big difference and the message appears to be getting through with, I understand, Staffordshire being the only place nationally seeing the number of uninsured drivers reducing overall trend wise.
Given the chance after May 5th I want the police here to reinvigorate the original campaign they developed for the crackdown as a further reminder to those who won’t pay up for insurance and can be a danger on Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent roads.
As far as wider Roads Policing is concerned, we’re in talks with police here and neighbouring forces on a proposal I’m keen to happen that would bolster the presence of police on the non-motorway road network across Staffordshire making it more effective with greater capacity and visibility. I'm also keen to progress a comprehensive review on number plate recognition technology. It's caught some serious cross border criminals and police believe it could be improved further to be smarter. If we can keep improving the finances, as has been the case so far, I'm confident I can fin the investment needed.
I’m also planning a new and significant Roads Safety Fund available to parish or town councils, and recognised community groups where there aren’t any, which will be aimed at funding locally driven ideas to make areas safer for motorists and pedestrians. Things like speeding, school parking and very local fixable issues.
It would operate in a similar way to the successful Commissioner’s People Power Fund that’s been running for two years with remarkable and tangible results. I want the same approach to focus on road safety.