Police are often on the lookout for commercial vehicle drivers who do not have van or commercial vehicle insurance, as not only is it illegal but it means that if there is an accident then there may be no way the driver can cover the costs for the damage. Furthermore, some commercial vehicle owners are known to lend out their vehicles to friends and family as a favour, not realising that this makes their van insurance void. Recently, police on the A24 in Ashtead pulled over forty vehicles during an operation to target suspicious drivers, and ended up logging nineteen traffic offences, and banning two vehicles from the road until they were repaired.
At 11:15am one van driver was pulled over as he was not wearing a seatbelt after a police team in the side road Stag Leys were radioed by a plain-clothes police team who were working with a computer system that checked over three thousand number plates. Neighbourhood Sergeant John Pearson said that the car was pulled over because: “It looked like a dodgy vehicle and sure enough it turned out to be.” Police found that the driver, a Lithuanian man, was not named on the van’s insurance, meaning that he was driving the car illegally.
The police then seized the van, and even though the man was found to be living in the UK even though his visa had expired, he was not arrested as he was in the middle of an appeal to stay in the UK on human rights grounds. Not only are the police allowed to seize a vehicle if you are found driving it without insurance, but they can also apply points on your licence and even fine you up to two hundred pounds.
Other drivers that were stopped on the day were found to have cracked windscreens, expired tax certificates and vehicles that were not registered on the DVLA database. PSCO’s were also at hand on the day in order to alert police to any cars found to be suspicious, with one saying: “I’m just assisting by helping to spot any potential vehicles that may be of interest to police.”