The Centre and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) plan to get tough with vehicles plying on the roads without insurance.

“The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has agreed to share data on vehicles plying in the country with us to identify those without mandatory motor third-party insurance,” Sriram Taranikanti, Executive Director, IRDAI, told BusinessLine .

The data will be shared with the Insurance Information Bureau (IIB), an arm of the insurance regulator, which, in turn, will collaborate with the State police to crack down on the owners of vehicles plying without insurance. There are about 12.5 crore vehicles in the country and 55 per cent of these do not have third-party insurance, according to official data. While buying insurance is mandatory at the time of purchase of a vehicle, it is not generally renewed from the second year onwards.

“We are working on developing necessary protocols to take this arrangement forward,” the official said, adding that identification of uninsured vehicles will be taken up in all the States in a phased manner. On the basis of a pilot project launched earlier, the system has been already introduced in the National Capital Region, Telangana and some other states.

The detection of uninsured vehicles will be helpful to thousands of road accident victims. It is also likely to have a positive impact on the general insurers as along with the mandatory cover, vehicle owners tend to buy other types of insurance cover, Taranikanti said.