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Drivers of uninsured and untaxed cars will not be allowed to refuel
The high number of uninsured motorists has become a huge problem in the UK as innocent drivers see significant increase in premiums year after year because insurers have to pay out claims but are not getting their money back. Drastic measures have already been put in place where cars without valid insurance are crashed and those without tax are towed away but that does not seem to be enough to deter the outlaws. So new plans are being proposed to stop drivers from filling up at petrol stations if they are found driving uninsured or untaxed.
Filling stations already have CCTV on their premises and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems to make it harder for people to fill up their tanks and drive away without paying. The government therefore plans to link the already installed ANPR to the insurance and tax database so that the go ahead could be given before refuelling can begin. If the driver has not renewed his car insurance or is driving on an expired road tax disc, then he would not be able to fill up as the pump would not work unless unlocked by the filling station attendant.
This new proposal will force drivers to comply with the current laws because if someone’s licence plate is flagged for any reason, then it would be difficult to obtain fuel and sooner or later, that person will end up with an unusable car. Therefore illegal driving would decrease as a result.
However, a situation where someone is being refused petrol can lead to a more hostile working environment for filling attendants who already suffer abuse due to high fuel costs. This will create a stressful working atmosphere for these workers as they will have no choice other than to put up with the verbal abuse although in some cases there might be violence involved as well. In this day and age where people are still being made redundant because of the recession, filling attendants will find themselves in a very difficult situation to implement the proposed plans because for one, it seems they will have to act as law enforcers trying to explain to drivers that they need to have valid insurance and tax before being allowed to fill up and second having an extra level of duty added to their job specification on top of operating the counter for food & drinks etc.
It is also worth noting that sometimes mistakes happen and your insurance details are not passed over to the Motors Insurance Bureau (MIB) in a timely manner. There have been a lot of cases where cars have been pulled up by the police because records show that the car was uninsured when in fact the car insurance company failed to update their records and pass this onto the MIB. This will create a lot of frustration for genuine motorists.
Of course, there are also alternative ways that people can use to get fuel. For example, instead of taking your car, you could just fill up a can although many filling stations have a limit of 1 can per person but you can always go to 5 different places and you’re all set. There’s also the problem with attaching a number plate that’s all insured and taxed onto an illegal car which people will resort to if they are being prohibited from purchasing fuel. Well, we just have to wait and see now what the outcome will be.