Uninsured drivers trend rising on Toronto's streets
Toronto police are saying that more and more drivers are hitting the road without car insurance.
Const. Hugh Smith said the problem is getting worse every year and that drivers are "taking those risks and weighing the options (if) we will stop them."
Clayton Fletcher, a GTA driver, said he drove without valid insurance for one year because he simply couldn't afford the monthly payments.
He said he was nervous every time he got behind the wheel.
"If I ever had been caught, I would have been in a mess of trouble. But at the time it was worth the risk because I really just could not afford it," said Fletcher, who now has insurance.
While Fletcher never got caught, police say that thousands of drivers do. Over six thousand motorists were charged with driving without insurance last year. This year, 1,646 uninsured drivers have already been caught.
The conviction rate for drivers caught without insurance is estimated at 64 per cent in Ontario and drivers face a minimum fine of $5,000.
However, Const. Andrew Ouellet said that some drivers have received a lowered amount of $2,500 due to economic hardship.
Smith said that police need to re-visit the policy and make $5,000 the firm minimum fine.
Ontario drivers pay an average of $1,504 a year for car insurance, which police said is cheaper than getting caught without it.
With files from CTV's John Musselman