The number of uninsured vehicles on Irish roads increased by almost 14,000 last year.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) says at the end of 2019, there were a total of 164,773 uninsured private vehicles on Irish roads.
The proportion of uninsured vehicles in the country grew significantly year-on-year, rising to 7.58%.
This means that one in every 13 private vehicles on Irish roads is uninsured.
All vehicles operating on Irish roads are required by law to hold valid motor insurance.
Any vehicle found without valid insurance can be seized on the spot by An Garda Síochána, with the driver facing severe penalties including an automatic court appearance, five penalty points and a substantial fine.
While in the case of any accidents involving uninsured drivers, the MIBI says it will pursue the driver for costs under their right to recovery.
The MIBI says these latest statistics emphasise the need for the urgent implementation of the Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurance database, to support the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system (ANPR).
This allows Gardaí to identify uninsured vehicles by scanning their number plate.
The MIBI says it is working with An Garda Síochána, Insurance Ireland, insurance companies and the Government to implement this.
David Fitzgerald is chief executive of the MIBI: "These latest numbers show the problem of uninsured driving has grown significantly over the last few years.
"A jump of almost 14,000 uninsured vehicles in a single year is a statistic that should worry every single Irish road user."
"That is why we are very keen to see the implementation of the new MTPL and ANPR system at the earliest possible opportunity.
"It is already up and running on a trial basis and we understand it has had a tremendous impact based on feedback provided by An Garda Síochána.
"There are still a few measures involved before the system will be operational across the entire country and we will liaising with the incoming Government at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure the remaining steps are realised."