There were 14,000 more uninsured vehicles on the roads in Ireland last year according to new figures released by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.
At the end of last year there were a total of 164,773 uninsured private vehicles on Irish roads, which was 13,863 more than at the end of 2018.
According to MIBI, uninsured vehicles account for 7.58% of the almost 2.2 million private vehicles in the Republic of Ireland.
All cars and other vehicles operating on Ireland’s roads are required to have motor insurance.
Any vehicle found without valid insurance can be seized on the spot by An Garda Síochána, with the driver facing severe penalties including an automatic court appearance, five penalty points and a substantial fine.
These latest numbers show the problem of uninsured driving has grown significantly over the last few years,” said David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI.
“A jump of almost 14,000 uninsured vehicles in a single year is a statistic that should worry every single Irish road user.”
“Uninsured drivers are a threat to road safety for the law abiding majority of private vehicle drivers, making Irish roads less safe and a lot more hazardous.”
The MIBI is a not for profit organisation that was established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
Where there is a road traffic accident involving an uninsured driver, the MIBI will pursue said driver for costs under their right to recovery.
Based on these figures, the MIBI is calling for the rgent implementation of the Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurance database to support the automatic number plate recognition system being rolled out by the Gardaí.
The ANPL system allows An Garda Síochána to identify uninsured vehicles by scanning their license plate.
“We are certainly concerned that with the economy facing a difficult period there may be an even further increase in the level of uninsured driving,” David Fitzgerald said.
“ANPR dramatically increases the capability to identify any uninsured private vehicle. It will be a strong weapon in the fight to apprehend any individuals who recklessly think they can treat motor insurance as ‘optional’.”
“Motor insurance is a legal obligation for a reason. With ANPR those who do not respect that principle will be rolling the dice in a game where the odds will be truly stacked against them,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.