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Gardaí seize 30 cars a week for no insurance


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Gardaí seize 30 cars a week for no insurance Gardaí seize 30 cars a week for no insurance

UP to 30 uninsured cars a week are being seized in the Galway area since the introduction last month of a new Garda Mobility Phone App.

Gardaí have described the new app as ‘a game-changer’ in terms of streamlining detections for cars being driven without insurance.

Over the past five weeks, according to Garda sources, the seizure of uninsured cars across Galway city and county ‘has risen dramatically’ since the introduction of the new app.

A simple phone scan of a vehicle’s number plate can now give an accurate update of insurance details thanks to a collaboration between Gardaí, the Depts. of Transport and Justice, Insurance Ireland and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.

As a Bank Holiday weekend approaches when Gardaí have promised a significant increase in checkpoints and road patrols, insurance details and validity can now be checked in a matter of seconds.

The Head of the Galway Garda Roads Policing Unit, Inspector Conor Madden, told the Galway City Tribune, that the new Garda Mobility Act, had already dramatically increased the detection and seizure of uninsured vehicles.

“It really is a game-changer in terms of establishing on-the-spot whether a vehicle has up-to-date insurance or not.

“Prior to this, for example, there were issues with vehicles which appeared to have valid insurance discs on their windscreens, even though the insurance policy might have been cancelled.

“Vehicles being driven without insurance are a significant and serious problem on Galway and Irish roads. Drivers should be aware that having no insurance will result in the seizure of their vehicle, a court appearance, five penalty points and large fines,” said Inspector Madden.

He also issued an appeal to all drivers to take special care this Bank Holiday weekend in a bid to ensure that everyone stays safe on the roads.

“It all comes down to the four basics of speed, seatbelts, mobile phones and intoxicating driving. If everyone slows down; wears their seat belts; never, ever goes near their mobiles while driving; and never drives while under the influence of drink or drugs, then our roads will be far, far safer,” said Inspector Madden.

Since the beginning of this year, over 7,300 uninsured vehicles have been seized by Gardaí, 1,840 of those in the month of April while the figure for May, 2024, is now expected to surpass the 2,000 mark.

An estimated 300 to 400 vehicles are understood to have been seized by Gardaí so far this year in the Galway area. Before a ‘seized vehicle’ can be driven from the ‘car pound’ by the owner they must produce a valid certificate of insurance and  an up-to-date driving licence. Alternatively, they can have it taken away by a tow-truck.

If the vehicle is recovered on the first day after its seizure, then a €130 storage fee must be paid – for every day after that, if the vehicle isn’t taken back, then an additional €35 a day charge also has to be paid.

With the new Garda Mobility App and the introduction of recent legislation, Gardaí have instant access to the updated insurance details of three million vehicles being driven across Ireland.

According to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), in 2022, there were 188,000 uninsured private vehicles across the state meaning that one out of every 12 cars in the country were not insured.

“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 above the EU average,” MIBI have said.

David Fitzgerald, CEO of the MIBI, said that the introduction of the Garda Mobile Act and the sharing of information by the insurance industry, would mean that the days of ‘getting away’ without having insurance were over.

“This is why this new system doesn’t just mark progress but it represents an essential weapon in the battle to improve road safety.

“Our message is clear: Ireland is now closed to uninsured driving and this new system means that anyone who is foolish enough to risk it, will be caught, and face the significant legal consequences of that,” said the MIBI CEO.




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