Those formidable scourges of the uninsured driving classes Men in Black (MIB) took evident relish in predicting this week that police are on the verge of seizing their one-millionth uninsured vehicle since the government gave them carte blanche to go round seizing such vehicles back in 2005.

The seizure in question will almost certainly take place in the West Midlands, MIB predicts, or maybe in West Yorkshire, another of the UK’s hottest beds of uninsuredness. Although, while we’re on the topic of Westness, the North West probably has one or two uninsured drivers too, as, for all Bankstone News knows, do West Lothian and West Wittering.

If we accept MIB’s estimate that around 30% of the seized vehicles have since been crushed, this suggests the creation of around two million twisted tonnes of torn and mangled metal since the seizure programme began. Not since the climactic sequences of The Blues Brothers has the automotive world seen such spectacular carnage.

As previously noted, uninsured driving is particularly rife in the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, where presumably the ignorance and lawlessness of the local populations are key factors in the widespread floutage of the relevant regulations. MIB report that one third of those living in WM and WY don’t know it’s illegal to drive without insurance. Those who do, often have a misplaced expectation that there’s little chance they’ll get caught should they choose to pass up on the undoubted, if pricey, appeal of private motor insurance.

Across the UK, the MIB claim, there are 1.2 million uninsured drivers. It was precisely those at the wheels of the estimated 1 in 25 vehicles driven without insurance whom Doug Simons of Alcoholics Anonymous accused this week of killing 160 innocent people and injuring another 23,000 every year in the UK (no comparative figure for guilty people was available at the time of writing). Clearly, if the individuals in question had only bought insurance, these grizzly statistics could look very different.

More to the point, uninsured drivers, Simons says, add £33 to every honestly-bought car insurance policy (again, no comparative figures were available for dishonestly purchased policies).

All things considered, Simons believes the MIB’s predicted millionth seizure this week will mark an important step forward. But dirty and potentially unhygienic tarmac appears to be a nagging concern for the AA spokesman. “A million cars seized is great news,” he said, “but we are still a long way from cleaning up Britain’s roads.”



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