New system for detecting uninsured vehicles formally launched

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More than 7,000 vehicles have been seized using a new system for detecting uninsured vehicles introduced early this year.

A new system which allows members of An Garda Síochána to quickly and easily identify uninsured vehicles has been formally launched.

More than 13,000 Gardaí working nationwide can now check a vehicle insurance status while on the roadside by checking its registration on the Garda Mobility App.

Following its introduction, the new system has led to the seizure of 7,307 vehicles since January 2024, with 1,840 vehicles being seized in the month of April alone due to no insurance.

This new system to support An Garda Síochána was co-ordinated through much collaboration between the Department of Transport, the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána, Insurance Ireland and the MIBI.

It follows legislative change and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding agreement between An Garda Síochána and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.

On a daily basis, the MIBI now provides An Garda Síochána with the insurance details of over 3 million vehicles that are operating on Irish roads via the Irish Motor Insurance Database (IMID).

Garda Síochána Assistant Commissioner Roads Policing and Community Engagement, Paula Hilman said, “By having access to the Irish Motor Insurance Database through our Garda Mobility Devices, Gardaí are in a stronger position to detect those breaking the law by driving without insurance.”

“Improved technology and data sharing are helping to transform roads policing in Ireland and ultimately help An Garda Síochána to keep road users safe. Today’s launch shows the considerable progress that can be achieved when we work in partnership and share data.”

Research from the MIBI indicates that there is a high number of uninsured vehicles operating on our roads.

In 2022, there were approximately 188,000 uninsured private vehicles in this country, meaning 1 in every 12 private vehicles were uninsured.

This research also shows that Ireland is among the highest ranking European countries for uninsured vehicles – three times as high as in the UK and four times the EU average.

Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee T.D. said, “The Irish Motor Insurance Database is an important tool for An Garda Síochána to detect and pursue those who drive on our roads without insurance.”

“The information sharing between the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland and An Garda Síochána, will play a significant role in improving road safety and I thank everybody involved for their work on developing and progressing this initiative.