There are a number of “unscrupulous” taxi drivers plying their trade in Galway City without proper insurance cover in place, according to Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish who is calling for this “scam” to be urgently stamped out.
A concerned Deputy Grealish has this week written to the Minister for Justice, Equality, and Law Reform Dermot Ahern, the Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy, and the Taxi Regulator Kathleen Doyle, highlighting the serious nature of these activities and calling for the matter to be fully investigated and addressed.
In the letter, seen by the Galway Advertiser, Deputy Grealish described how “a small number of taxi drivers, unfortunately most of whom are foreign nationals, are purchasing car insurance, to be paid by direct debit over the course of the insurance policy. After two to three months they are cancelling the policy, but they retain a valid insurance certificate and insurance disc. They change address and hence are untraceable within the city”.
The letter goes on to state that: “Unsuspecting members of the public are then using these taxis, unaware that they are actually travelling in an uninsured vehicle and in the unfortunate event of an accident occurring are not covered and will not be able to claim any compensation.”
Speaking to the Advertiser, Deputy Grealish acknowledged that the vast majority of taxi drivers are adequately covered but there is a minority who are intentionally operating this “scam”. He further explained that they are paying deposits to insurance companies who send out the insurance disc and certificate. Then, when the offending drivers do not fulfil their part of the policy agreement and do not pay the full balance, the insurance companies struggle to locate them to get the disc and certificate back.
“They are then driving around with the discs on the windscreen and are in possession of the cert... I would ask that this issue be addressed as a matter of urgency given the very serious nature of the situation and the consequences for members of the public, other road users and fellow taxi drivers who are abiding by the law.”