Thursday, 28 April 2022
Department of Finance
At the outset, it is important to recognise that uninsured driving is a criminal offence and a road safety issue, and as such certain efforts to tackle this issue are relevant for my colleagues the Ministers for Justice and Equality, and Transport, respectively.
I am cognisant of the fact that the cost of uninsured drivers is ultimately borne by innocent policyholders. The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland compensates victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles, the cost of which is added to motor insurance premiums. The Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Seán Fleming, has had engagements with the Garda Commissioner, the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland and the Department of Transport on this issue.
I am informed the Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021, which is currently before the Dáil, will further develop a database of all motor insurance policies in the State - the Motor Third Party Liability database, which the Department of Transport has been working collaboratively with stakeholders on. This, along with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, will enable Gardaí to identify and apprehend uninsured vehicles on our roads. I welcome the contribution to date from the insurance industry to this important project, the completion of which should reduce the levels of uninsured driving, thereby acting as a lever to lower costs for both policyholders and insurers.
The Minister of State and I will continue to engage with our Ministerial colleagues, industry and other stakeholders to address this pressing issue, and to ensure that the benefits of improved enforcement are passed on to and felt by policyholders.