New figures released by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has shown that Offaly has one of the highest rates of hit-and-run crashes in the country.
Just four counties recorded a higher number of such accidents in 2017 with Donegal the highest, with 50% of all incidents reported to the MIBI involving hit and runs where one driver fails to remain at the scene or supply contact or insurance information.
The MIBI is a non-profit organisation established to compensate victims of road-traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
In Offaly, 8 (37.5%) of accidents reported in 2017 were so-called hit-and-run incidents, a jump of over 16% from a year previous when 21.88% of all reported incidents when hit-and-runs.
The figures also revealed that 13 Offaly crashes involving uninsured drivers were reported to MIBI headquarters in 2017, but this figure has been falling in recent years. 17 similar incidents occurred in 2015 while 25 were chalked down in 2016.
MIBI chief David Fitzgerald said although incidents relating to uninsured drivers continued form the majority of claims reported to the MIBI, accidents involving untraced drivers accounted for a large portion.
“Alarmingly, there was a total of 800 such events last year, with more than 300 taking place in Dublin,” he said. “We are also seeing a very high proportion of claims relating to these type of incidents taking place in some counties.
He said modern technology and surveillance equipment is helping authorities track down these drivers, pointing out that his organisation works very closely with gardaí to apprehend those involved.