The scheme is being considered by other forces, which are fed up with bikers flouting the law. Often, young people on housing estates ride scooters around estates believing to be beyond the reach of the law, or believing that riding on the estate is risk free and not worth the bother or expense of insurance.
Sergeant Nigel Nevard of Kent Police said: “We have spoken to a number of riders coming into north Kent. We are sending them a clear message that we will not tolerate their behavior and will seize their bikes when we catch them.” Department of Transport figures show that 6.5 percent of Motor-Cyclists were avoiding tax and insurance for 2007.
The rate of those that are “active-stock”, not used on roads but still eligible to pay tax under the rules was even higher at 9.8 percent. This figure includes bikes that are used primarily for shows or display, but still need to be used to get there. No other group of road users avoid insurance at a higher percentage and the continuing reluctance of bikers to get insured puts other road users at risk.
By law all motorists must have at least third-party cover and avoiding insurance in this way is a criminal offense. Many parents are also buying their children mini-motorbikes, quad bikes and powered scooters. They can be bought for as little as £150. Many of these machines are very powerful capable of traveling in excess of 40 mph and some can reach 60 mph.
Despite this many forgo insurance, simply believing them to be toys. ROSPA said: “The problem has become greater with an estimated ten-fold increase in sales since 2002, primarily due to their low cost and the ability to buy online. The influx of lower quality cheap machines and little emphasis on safety precautions from these suppliers has added to the problem.” The message is clear; if it can be used on the road then it is at risk from other road users and should be insured. Otherwise you run the risk of not just losing your machine, but gaining a criminal record.