Varadkar said he was 'disturbed' with a recent increase in road deaths. Eamonn Farrell
Ministerial meeting

Taoiseach and ministers discuss recent increases in road deaths

The meeting comes as gardaí are due to receive data on motorists without insurance.

A MEETING BETWEEN Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and relevant ministers discussed the recent increase in road deaths and measures which aim to reduce them.

This meeting comes as gardaí are due to receive data from Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland, which will inform them of a number of vehicles driving uninsured on Irish roads.

Varadkar said he has been “disturbed” by recent rise in road deaths, and wants to ensure, with stakeholders, that road users are doing their part to maintain road safety.

Today, a man man in his 40s died in a single vehicle collision in Kilkenny. Deaths on Irish roads have already exceeded the number of total road deaths last year.

Gardaí briefed the attendants on the steps its taking towards ramping up “targeted enforcement” on Irish roads in the coming months. One of the factors assisting with this was announced by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

MIBI announced it will begin to provide Gardaí with insurance details of around three million vehicles on a daily basis, starting today. 

Assistant Garda commissioner for roads policing Paula Hilman said: “This information will act as a modern and effective tool in the battle against uninsured driving.”

The data will include the name and address of the insurance policy holders, the insurance company who issued the policy, the vehicle registration covered in the policy, and the names and birthdays of any named drivers on the plan.

This means if a vehicle does not have insurance, gardaí will be able to confirm this through cross referencing the data provided by MIBI.

The Road Safety Authority also told the meeting about potential education and awareness campaigns.

Justice minister Helen McEntee, transport minister Eamon Ryan, junior transport minister Jack Chambers and representatives from An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority, Medical Bureau of Road Safety, National Transport Authority and Transport Infrastructure Ireland were in attendance.

The Taoiseach also invited road safety campaigner Susan Gray of PARC to make a presentation, and thanked her for her presentation after the meeting.

Varadkar said: “We need to turn the tide on road safety. I know we can as we have done it before. The solution is to Focus on Evidence, on Enforcement, and on Education, and it’s also about Engineering.

He added that work has begun to consolidate all road traffic legislation into one bill, aiming to close off any loopholes in current legislation.