The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has warned that uninsured drivers who are responsible for road traffic accidents face the prospect of being pursued for "substantial costs".
Among the punishments facing such drivers are the seizure of their assets or vehicles, mandatory debt repayments, bankruptcy proceedings, the mandatory sale of their home and even imprisonment, MIBI said.
The announcement was made in the body's new Holding to Account – Reinforcing the MIBI’s recovery strategy report today.
MIBI confirmed that it plans to ramp up their debt recovery and anticipates that this approach will raise €4m over four years.
The MIBI is a not for profit organisation that was established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
Where an uninsured driver has been guilty of causing an accident and injuries, the costs of these claims are settled by the MIBI. It then has the authority to pursue the guilty parties to reclaim those damages.
Speaking at the launch of the new Holding to Account strategy document, David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI said: “When it comes to uninsured driving the law is clear.
"It is a criminal offence to drive without insurance and there is no ambiguity to that point. Yet despite this being clearly established in law, the MIBI still receives thousands of claims each year arising out of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
“While enforcing damage recovery has been part of the legal procedures available to the MIBI, we are now planning on placing a renewed focus on this activity.
"We want uninsured drivers to understand that every time they get behind the wheel they are taking a gamble which could jeopardise their freedom and cost them and their families hundreds of thousands of euro if they are involved in an accident,” he said.