Motorists in Ireland who are caught driving without insurance face several consequences, including having their vehicle seized, receiving penalty points, possible driving bans, and hefty fines. The country has the second highest rate of uninsured vehicles in the EU, with over 188,000 estimated to be on the roads without valid insurance. This poses a financial burden on victims of accidents involving uninsured vehicles, as well as other road users and taxpayers. To combat this issue, new regulations have been introduced that give the Irish police, or gardaí, access to the Irish Motor Insurance Database (IMID) through handheld devices. The IMID is updated daily with records of insured vehicles, allowing the gardaí to quickly and easily check the insurance status of vehicles using automatic number plate recognition technology. This new technology, combined with the regulations in the Road Traffic and Roads Act (2023), will make it easier for the gardaí to identify uninsured motorists. The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and road safety campaign groups have praised these measures, seeing them as a game changer and a positive step towards improving road safety in Ireland.
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