Belfast Telegraph

Dangerous uninsured private vehicles in Ireland nearly doubled since 2011

The number of dangerous uninsured vehicles on Ireland's roads has almost doubled in five years, underwriters said.

An underbelly of drivers is breaking the law and posing a growing threat to road safety.

More than 150,000 uninsured private vehicles are on Ireland's roads, and premiums have risen sharply in recent years.

Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) chief executive David Fitzgerald said: "The rise in the number of uninsured private vehicles is a significant cause of concern. Uninsured vehicles operating on Irish roads represent a real threat to Irish road safety."

Motorists have expressed deep anger over a 70% rise in premiums in the last three years and a 38% spike in the last year.

Mr Fitzgerald said: "Every driver knows the law requires all vehicles using our public road network must have proper motor insurance in place.

"Drivers who do not are in immediate violation of one of the most basic road safety principles."

In 2011, 85,062 uninsured vehicles were on the roads. By this year to November that tally had risen to 151,392 or 7% of the total.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has opened an inquiry into suspected breaches of competition law on insurance cost increases.

Mr Fitzgerald said: "Anyone who drives without insurance is rolling the dice in a very high stakes game.

"Given the jump in uninsured driving we thought it was important to bring further awareness to the full severity of the consequences uninsured motorists can expect.

"Having a valid motor insurance policy is not a choice, it is a strict legal obligation which carries a heavy price for those who don't comply."

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