Drivers admit offences

OVER a third of motorists in Louth have driven around in the knowledge that their NCT certification was out of date, according to a new survey.

OVER a third of motorists in Louth have driven around in the knowledge that their NCT certification was out of date, according to a new survey.

The results of a new poll carried out by AA Motor Insurance show that 33 per cent of motorists have committed the offence of allowing the compulsory certificate to expire.

In neighbouring Co Monaghan, 32 per cent of 80 survey respondents admitted to driving around at some point with an expired NCT disc.

In Co Cavan, 39 per cent of 168 respondents owned up to the same motoring offence. Of the 330 drivers polled in Louth, 41 per cent admitted to having driven around knowing their car tax was out of date.

In Monaghan 33 per cent failed to renew their car tax in time, and in Cavan almost half were guilty of commiting the offence.

However, only a tiny percentage of motorists in Louth - 2 per cent said that they had previously driven their vehicles without insurance.

Only 2 per cent of motorists in Cavan also owned up to having driven without insurance, however, 6 per cent of motorists in Monaghan have risked driving without insurance.

Despite the risk of penalty points, fines, mandatory court appearances and even disqualification from driving if convicted a lot of motorists have been willing to take a chance.

“We get honest motorists who let their certificates slip for perhaps a few weeks because they have been slow to re-tax the car or have delayed the NCT appointment,” said AA Director of Insurance John Farrell.

“It is very serious to drive your car without insurance, and it adds hugely to the cost for all motorists, but at the same time a lot of people reported to us that they had simply forgotten to change the windscreen disk and driven with last year’s one still on display.”

While the AA survey spoke to AA customers, there is a broader problem with a reckless minority of motorists who are deliberately driving uninsured and even in some cases displaying fake windscreen disks.

“As many as 5 per cent of cars out there are uninsured at any one time. This is paid for by the rest of us and it is a serious issue. That sort of wilful evasion is targeted by the Garda, and rightly so,” said Mr Farrell.

Vehicles aged ten years plus must now be NCT tested annually.