Concerned about reports that there are too many uninsured vehicles on the island’s roads, the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB), is hoping that soon they will all be monitored under the Electronic Vehicle Registration (EVR) system.
President of the GIAB, Randy Graham, said insurance companies have been cooperating with relevant state agencies to ensure the successful rollout of the EVR system which is intended to monitor the registration and insurance compliance of vehicles travelling on the road.
“The reason why we were pushing for that is because we felt as though there were too many vehicles on the road without insurance and because you don’t have to produce your insurance document to get the road tax anymore it was very hard to monitor how many of the vehicles on the road were actually driving without insurance.
“It has been creating a problem for people who follow the law. You do what you are supposed to do, get the insurance policy, and then others out there are not doing what they are supposed to do and creating problems on the road.
“It is definitely a problem that we have been monitoring for years now and have been trying to get the authorities to get on top of. I understand people could be in a tight squeeze and may not be able to afford the insurance premiums because things are tight and they have other things that they need to prioritise.
“But all we are saying is that if that is the case, then please don’t put your car on the road without insurance. When you take a chance and assume that you will not get into an accident that is the head time that you hit somebody and everything is problematic after that,” Graham said.
Earlier this month, Acting Chief Licensing Officer with the Barbados Licensing Authority (BLA), Treca McCarthy-Broomes, disclosed that Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) are currently being registered under the second phase of the EVR programme.
She said the process of tagging public service vehicles had been ongoing since late 2022. All vehicles on the island will eventually be required to register with the EVR system, which includes vehicles being tagged with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, she added.
McCarthy-Broomes explained that other than proving that a vehicle has been registered, the RFID tag confirms proof of insurance ownership and that the vehicle is in good standing on the roads. Under the system, the BLA, the Barbados Police Service, and insurance companies will efficiently and effectively verify the relevant documentation of vehicles.
Meanwhile, Graham said that the association is looking forward to the full implementation of the new system to be able to better manage the issue of uninsured vehicles on the roads.
He insisted that uninsured vehicles pose a significant risk to members of the public, particularly if an accident leads to driver or passengers needing medical attention and even lifelong care in some instances.
“You have to fund that out of your own pocket, or even take the person – if you could find them, because some of them run away from the accidents – to court. If you take them to court and they say they can’t repay the funds, then you are left holding a bag because they put a car on the road against the law without insurance.
“We have supported the process. We have lent our support as an industry by making sure that we have tested the product and done our part to make sure we can upload information from an insurance company into the database so that it could be linked.
“Also, we continue to send a list of clients who have renewed their policies to the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) on a monthly basis so that the information can be uploaded into the BRA and the MTW’s [Ministry of Transport and Works] database and they would have the list of vehicles that currently have insurance. This has been going on for a while,” he said. (AH)