You may have already heard, but the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is in the process of running a radio campaign across a range of national and local stations.

The purpose of the campaign is to remind the public about the Irish Motor Insurance Database (IMID) and how that information, which includes the insurance details for the 3 million vehicles on Irish roads, is now being provided to An Garda Síochána on a daily basis for use with their Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system.

This measure took effect following the completion of the data sharing agreement between the MIBI and An Garda Síochána in November 2023.

The campaign is especially aimed at any uninsured drivers, or potential uninsured drivers, to remind them the net is tightening and that they are more likely than ever to get caught thanks to the capabilities of IMID and ANPR.

The effectiveness of this new tool for law enforcement is already being shown in the social media activity of An Garda Síochána, with multiple posts covering incidents where uninsured drivers have been identified through the system and apprehended.

Anecdotal reports from our members across the industry have also suggested the strong media focus on uninsured driving and the new law enforcement system, following an extensive push by the MIBI last year, has already begun to make an impact on reducing the number of uninsured vehicles operating on Irish roads.

Driving without valid insurance is against the law. The MIBI’s hope is that these radio ads will help to reinforce the message of how that crime is now being tackled and perhaps convince more uninsured drivers that this is a risk they can’t afford to take.

The current radio ads are the first part of a broader campaign the MIBI will run throughout the course of the year, which will also include other communication and marketing initiatives all targeted at those uninsured drivers.

“We believe that the strong messaging last year about the new ANPR/ IMID system and how it represents a gamechanger for clamping down on uninsured driving has started to make an impact,” said David Fitzgerald, CEO of the MIBI. “What we’re hearing anecdotally from sources amongst our member companies and other stakeholders, is that some uninsured drivers realise this will make it impossible to get away without valid insurance. So some of those uninsured drivers have started sourcing valid insurance to fulfil their legal obligations”.

“This is potentially a very positive development, one we believe is beneficial to the sector and to the wider cause of Irish road safety. That is why we have committed to these radio ads as well as a wider marketing campaign we will run across the year. We want to continue spreading awareness of the new law enforcement arrangements for tackling uninsured driving and hopefully press home how difficult it will be for uninsured drivers to avoid detection from now on”.

“Analysis we published last year, highlighted that 1 in every 12 private vehicles on Irish roads was uninsured. Our hope is that number will start to reduce as the practical impact of ANPR/ IMID starts to bite and more people realise just how effective a weapon this will be in the battle against uninsured driving,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.