Motoring Group warns the level of uninsured driving in Ireland is ‘problematic’


A car group has warned the level of uninsured driving in Ireland is “problematic” as the number of uninsured cars nationwide has surpassed 174,000.

A new analysis by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has revealed that the number of uninsured private vehicles in Ireland reached 174,177 in 2021, an increase of more than 23,000 vehicles since 2018.

This equates to 7.8 per cent of the 2.23 million private vehicles in the Republic of Ireland’s total fleet.

In comparison, there were 150,910 uninsured private vehicles on the roads in 2018, according to the analysis.

MIBI urges the government to swiftly pass the Road Traffic and Roads Act, which will facilitate further adoption of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system.

The system and underlying motor liability insurance database allows Gardaí to identify uninsured vehicles simply by scanning their number plates.

Although it currently has limited capacity, the system has identified an average of 128 uninsured vehicles per day, according to An Garda Síochána.

Vehicles driving on Irish roads are required by law to have valid vehicle insurance and penalties for vehicles found without valid insurance include seizure of the vehicle by Gardaí on the spot and other significant penalties such as a automatic court appearance, five penalty points and a substantial penalty fine.

Speaking on the extent of uninsured driving in Ireland, MIBI Chief Executive David Fitzgerald said the analysis showed the number of uninsured vehicles was increasing and “needed to be stopped”.

“Driving without insurance is against the law and also makes our roads more dangerous. However, currently one in 13 private vehicles on our roads is operated without insurance,” he said.

“If we are to address this issue in the short term, the government must quickly implement the Traffic and Roads Act currently before the Oireachtas. This legislation will further improve and strengthen the ANPR system, which allows An Garda Síochána to identify uninsured vehicles simply by scanning their number plates.

“This system has been proven to work, as evidenced by the 128 uninsured vehicles identified daily by the Gardaí. This number is likely to increase significantly once the system is fully operational, but this requires the necessary legislation to be put in place.

“Simplifying the process of identifying uninsured drivers is the best tool we have to reduce the number of uninsured drivers. That is why it is so important that this legislation is given the priority it deserves.”

“The current level of uninsured driving should be a cause for concern for everyone driving on Irish roads. We all want Irish roads to be as safe as possible. This bill and its implications will advance that goal, which is why we need to enact it as soon as possible,” he added. Motoring Group warns the level of uninsured driving in Ireland is ‘problematic’

Fry Electronics Team

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