WE CAN'T STOP REFUGEES BREAKING TRAFFIC LAWS; EXCLUSIVE Gardai Admit Car 'Loophole'

Article excerpt

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

MANY asylum-seekers are openly flouting the traffic laws by driving cars without insurance and road tax.

Senior gardai have said it was almost impossible to bring offenders to justice.

And they admitted many gardai have given up trying to catch refugees driving without insurance because of the paperwork involved.

It's believed the situation is worst in the north east of the country.

In Drogheda, Co Louth, many asylum-seekers park their cars on the main street without displaying any tax, insurance or National Car Test (NCT) discs.

A source said: "If these people are stopped they often indicate that they can't speak English and an interpreter must be called.

"The hassle and time involved means officers are usually reluctant to pull them over."

And because of this "loophole" in the system asylum-seekers can have little fear of being brought to court for traffic offences - unless they are involved in accidents.

Many refugees pay for their cars with health board cheques supposed to help asylum-seekers and their families set up home here. But often the cheap, old cars they buy have failed the NCT and would be almost impossible to insure.

Insuring cars which cost as little as /500, could cost up to /6,000 - especially if they didn't have a no-claims bonus or proof of driving experience. …