Police in Staffordshire are using messages on supermarket petrol pumps to publicise a campaign targeting uninsured drivers.
‘Cars Behind Bars’ is a campaign instigated by Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis and has resulted in about 200 uninsured vehicles being seized, some to be scrapped, in the five weeks since it started.
Signs warning insurance dodgers have been placed on pumps at four forecourts in the county - at Morrison’s in Burton and Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, and Sainsbury’s in Cannock and Tamworth.
Police estimate 48,000 drivers at each garage have used the pumps in the past four weeks.
The message on the pumps reads: “Police targeting uninsured drivers - make sure you’re legal or your car could be seized and crushed.”
Ellis said: “The zero tolerance approach of ‘Cars Behind Bars’ has proved very popular with people I’ve spoken to across Staffordshire in recent weeks.
“Motorists who don’t insure their vehicles and drive them on our roads are totally irresponsible and cost the rest of us money through rising premiums.
“These law breakers have no-where to hide. Insurance dodgers are being caught and dealt with, having their cars seized and, in some cases, scrapped.”
The petrol pump campaign targeted four postcode areas identified as hotspot areas for uninsured drivers by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) - Stoke-on-Trent, Burton, Tamworth and Cannock.
Offenders are being tracked down through Staffordshire’s automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system. Police and the County Council joined forces last year to extend the network of cameras across Staffordshire to clamp down on suspect vehicles.
Chief superintendent Jon Drake, from Staffordshire Police, said: “The consequences of driving without insurance means your car can be seized, you would receive a £200 fixed penalty and an endorsement of six penalty points, you could be summoned to court and could be disqualified. You would only be able to get your car back if you get insurance or it will be crushed or auctioned. You would have to pay £150 recovery costs and £20 per day.”