Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins has described as worrying the news that the number of motor insurance claims relating to uninsured or untraced drivers in Roscommon has risen by 500% compared to 17% nationally. Claims in Roscommon this year have risen from 2 to 12 as compared to the same period last year.
Senator Hopkins said, "this news is very frustrating for Roscommon drivers who have already been faced with inflated premiums renewal costs this year."
According to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland the industry pays out €60 million per year on average to deal with claims against uninsured drivers, this accounts for an estimated €35 extra on every driver's premium of every driver in the country.
Senator Hopkins continued, "the high cost of motor insurance premiums is an issue I have been raising consistently over the past number of months, according to the CSO motor insurance costs have risen by 40% over the past year, the fact that uninsured drivers are contributing to this is unacceptable ".
"I have called on the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald to ensure that additional resources are diverted to the traffic corps to make sure that we have improved enforcement. Work is underway to allow An Garda Siochána use automatic number plate recognition cameras to target uninsured drivers. It is critical that this system comes into operation as quickly as possible and that insurance companies are obliged to provide the necessary up to date insurance details."
Senator Hopkins concluded, "drivers who choose to forgo insurance are not only breaking the law but are also directly penalizing all other motorists, this is simply unacceptable".