Significant progress has been made on the various complex actions for which my Department has responsibility as regards motor insurance and road safety under the Cost of Insurance Working Group.
Recommendation 10 is broken down into two Actions 20 and 21 and it has been completed. These actions were in relation to the Advisory Committee on Small Public Service Vehicles entering regular discussions with Insurance Ireland to explore solutions for drivers in that sector.
Recommendation 28 is broken into Actions 62 and 63 and relate to establishing for the first time a fully functioning database, which would allow uninsured drivers to be identified. This also requires insurance companies to provide the driver licence number. While this may be done by request, it will be comprehensive only if there is a clear legal requirement to do so, as well as legally sound.
The key reasons why Phase 2 of the Motor Third Party Liability insurance database, as outlined in the Cost of Insurance Working Group Report in January 2017, will now be delivered towards until the end of 2020 are as following:
The scope of the information to be covered has now been significantly expanded to cover details on all Private, Commercial and Fleet motor vehicle information - all within this timeframe;
Delivering the capability to capture and validate driver number details, without significantly burdening private individuals, will require
(I) an initial industry-wide start date for the collection of data for new policies and
(II) an extended period to allow for driver number details to be collected as existing drivers renew their policies over time.
Before insurance companies can start requiring customers to supply both their driver number details and those of their named drivers on the policy, further amendments to the Road Traffic Acts will need to be in place. While current proposals to enhance the regulation and enforcement of speed limits to improve both road safety and traffic management are the immediate priority, work is continuing on these further amendments in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
Mechanisms will have to be developed and agreed between all insurers and DTTAS Shannon for them to gain access to the National Vehicle and Drive File to validate driver numbers within the wider framework governing access to and protection of data.
Insurance Ireland and all the insurance companies operating in Ireland, working together with DTTAS, An Garda Síochána, and the MIBI, through the MTPL Insurance Database Project Board, have now structured the delivery of Phase 2 of the MTPL project into four sub-phases, namely:
Delivery of all information currently covered by section 78(a) of the Road Traffic Act (2016) for both private and commercial vehicles, by end 2018.
Delivery of driver number capture and validation capability, by end of 2019.
Delivery of motor fleet information, by 2020.
Delivery of all driver numbers for all drivers (following the completion of the required renewal cycles), by 2021.
Recommendation 29 of the Cost of Insurance Working Group is to develop a protocol to provide that industry use the driver licence number to check driver details on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF). Delivery of the capability to capture and validate driver number details will require both an initial industry-wide start date for the collection of data for new policies and an extended period to allow for driver number details to be collected on renewals. Before insurance companies can start requiring customers to supply both their driver number details and those of their named drivers on the policy, amendments to the Road Traffic Acts will need to be in place. Mechanisms will have to be developed and agreed between the DTTAS and all insurers in order for them to gain access to the NVDF to validate driver numbers.
Recommendation 30 has Action 66 to expedite the development of the Master Licence Record.
The Master Licence Record (MLR) is an internal Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) system which associates driver and vehicle records on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF). The first phase of the project went live in October 2017. This phase established the MLR and populated the system by matching details of vehicle owners against details of driving licence holders stored in the NVDF. Approximately 18% of active private vehicle owner records were successfully matched in this phase. An updated version of the MLR is provided to An Garda Síochána on a weekly basis.
The next phase of the MLR project will go live later this summer. With this latest release, the MLR now includes over 30% of active private vehicle owner records.
Future phases of the MLR are planned but will require further changes to primary and secondary legislation.
Recommendation 32 is broken down into Actions 69 and 70 and relates to requiring the insurance industry to promote compliance with road safety legislation. My Department, the Road Safety Authority and the insurance industry are in discussion regarding optimum social media and messaging to be used by the industry to target learner and novice drivers.