Eight drivers a day caught with no insurance

An average of eight motorists a day were apprehended driving without insurance last year.

Figures from the Road Safety Authority show that 2,786 drivers were issued with penalty points last year for failing to have motor insurance — an 18% increase on 2013.

Eight drivers a day caught with no insurance

Detections of speeding offences rose by 11%, with almost 180,000 caught breaking speed limits. Some 26,337 drivers were found holding a mobile phone, up 13% on the 2013 figures.

For the first time in many years, last year saw an increase in the overall number of penalty point offences recorded.

Overall, a total of 233,130 motorists were hit for penalty points in 2014, up 11% from the previous year.

The figures could be interpreted as indicating a worsening driver behaviour at a time when the RSA has expressed concern about surveys showing that the motoring public believe there was a less visible policing of road traffic legislation over the past 12 months.

The strength of the Garda Traffic Corps has declined from a peak of 1,200 in 2009 to 749 at the end of 2014, while the number of vehicles assigned to the unit reduced from 316 in 2011 to a current level of 246.

The RSA figures show that 950 motorists were fined for not properly securing children in carseats, representing a four-fold increase in the offence.

The latest figures confirm that 7.4% of all Irish licence holders picked up penalty points during the course of last year.

Motorists from Westmeath were the biggest offenders with almost 10% of the county’s motorists found in breach of a road traffic offence. Other counties whose motorists had above-average offending rates were Wexford, Clare, Galway, and Roscommon.

In contrast, Donegal motorists recorded the lowest rate of offending with just over 5% incurring penalty points. Drivers from Dublin, Louth, and Monaghan also had proportionately low offending rates.

Motorists in Clare have the highest collection of penalty points, with almost 28% of the county’s drivers having points on their licence.

More than a quarter of all motorists in Westmeath, Wicklow, Roscommon, Longford, Leitrim, and Kildare have also been detected for road traffic offences.

At the opposite end of the scale, just under 14% of motorists in Donegal have penalty points. Other low rates of offending are found among motorists from Monaghan, Mayo, and Kerry.

Penalty points could not be imposed on offending motorists in more than one in six of all detected offences as gardaí could not link a driving licence to the vehicle, in many cases because they would have foreign registration plates.

More than 36,900 motorists escaped punishment last year as a result of the authorities not being able to trace a driving licence.

Motorists in only four counties recorded fewer penalty points than in 2013: Waterford, Dublin, Meath, and Longford.

More than 22,000 drivers received penalty points in Cork, up 10%, while Limerick was up 6% with 9,042 offenders.

However, there was a dramatic increase in driving offences in Galway, up 49% to 13,600.

There was also a noticeable increase in penalty points incurred in Wexford, Offaly, and Kerry.


Alex Todd Brand Manager at 25plus commented "Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you’re not correctly insured to drive it you could get penalised. "

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