Pledges include a Traffic Corps

 

The establishment of a "dedicated Traffic Corps" and the banning of "no foal no fee" legal advertising are among the policy pledges for insurance and road safety announced under the Programme for Government.

The coalition partners say they will "implement urgently" the recommendations of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board with the aim of bringing down the high cost of insurance premiums.

On road safety, they promise that work on the long-awaited penalty points system for drivers "will be completed to ensure its implementation at an early date".

In addition, "a renewed three-year road safety strategy will be introduced to target speeding, drink driving, seatbelt wearing and pedestrian safety in order to significantly reduce road deaths and injuries".

A spokesman for the Irish Insurance Federation said the industry was already committed to implementing the 10 advisory board recommendations relating to it as soon as possible.

Among these were: stiffer penalties, including confiscation of vehicles, for those driving without insurance; stringent measures to tackle fraudulent and exaggerated claims; and measures to speed up the settlement of smaller claims outside the costly judicial system.

The coalition partners have explicitly committed themselves to other Motor Insurance Advisory Board recommendations, including the settubg up of a personal injuries assessment board.

Commenting on the proposed ban on "no foal no fee" advertising, Mr Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors, said he was "not entirely sure what is new in it". He noted personal injury compensation advertising had already been banned under legislation introduced last April. Mr Murphy said the Law Society supported the ban, and was also in favour of almost all of the recommendations of the advisory board.

"Our only concern is that, in implementing them, the rights of claimants will not be lost."