Gardaí push for database to detect 150,000 motorists with no insurance
Garda supervisors want the introduction of a real-time insurance database to help them crack down on uninsured drivers.
They have called for action from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to help increase detection rates.
The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland estimates there are 150,000 uninsured vehicles in the Republic, the annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) heard.
Delegate Roger Nicholson said the detection of persons without motor insurance was an important task for all gardaí.
He said gardaí were currently detecting about 12,000 uninsured drivers a year despite significant penalties of fines up to €5,000, five penalty points and, at the discretion of the court, a jail sentence not exceeding six months.
"We do not have access to a real-time database," said Mr Nicholson.
He told the conference that if gardaí were provided with the database, it would significantly change the number of detections and reduce the incentive for people to drive without insurance.
The conference backed the call for the minister to introduce the database.
The conference also supported a motion seeking clarity on existing legislation covering the investigation of juveniles as offenders.
Delegates heard that the current system was cumbersome and complex and contained too many loopholes.