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Garda's Fingers Off the PULSE

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DateTuesday, May 05, 2015

Garda's Fingers Off the PULSE

Garda IT System Suspended Over Insurance Errors Hundreds of thousands of Drivers have been Wrongly Identified 


Garda Pull PULSE IT System - Click for Video ReportRTE has reported that the Garda (@GardaTraffic) have recently suspended the use of PULSE IT system as it  discovered that hundreds of thousands of drivers have being wrongly identified as having failed to pay their car insurance. 



The motor insurance IT database enables garda vehicles attached with an automatic numberplate recognition system Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), system to scans and identify vehicles that do not have insurance.

The RTE article says problems with the garda system emerged in the notes of a meeting between senior gardaí, executives from the Road Safety Authority, and officials at the Departments of Transport and Justice which took place in December 2014. The handwritten notes, which have been obtained by the RTÉ This Week programme, were recorded by a Department of Transport senior official appears to blame motor insurance companies for failing to update the database properly.  The technology scans registration plates and is attached to patrol vehicles. It is primarily used to locate vehicles suspected to have been used in a crime or which are stolen. The motor insurance database was added in recent years to the automatic number plate recognition- system, which was acquired by the gardaí in 2010 for a cost of around €6m.


The  representative of Department of Transport, said: "With insurance companies not notify [sic] of part payment of cover. Database had to be pulled - members not managing data properly. Getting 1.1 million hits for no insurance - this is not logical."


The information on the motor insurance database is understood to be supplied and updated by the motor insurance companies. No records are available as to how many vehicles were checked on foot of a hit of no insurance coming back through the system. Visual checks would establish that the vehicles were insured, but the procedure would take up time and resources of gardaí and cause confusion and concern for motorists.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show there are about 2.4 million licensed vehicles in the State. This meant the number of hits for non-payment of insurance on the garda IT system was almost half the entire number of vehicles on Irish roads.



Garda HQ, commented: "An Garda Siochana is aware of an issue in relation to certain insurance-related data on the ANPR system. We are working with all the partner stakeholders to resolve the issue."



Gardaí say they do not believe these issues had impacted on roads policing enforcement and that 6,700 prosecutions were instigated for no insurance to date this year. ANPR systems have become popular with police worldwide in recent years and are generally considered to be sophisticated and valuable road traffic enforcement tools when managed correctly.


Insurance industry studies suggest the number of uninsured vehicles is around 6pc of the total number, which would mean that around 900,000 of those hits for non-payment were false.


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