I’m delighted the Government’s Transport Research Laboratory has put forward proposals for making young drivers safer on UK roads.
It’s helped to get the issues in the headlines again and there are some interesting suggestions carried in the proposals.
Anything that works towards reducing road fatalities has to be welcomed. But there are one or two elements of the proposals that probably wouldn’t be top of my list.
Curfews and driving with an over 30-year-old in the car could prove impractical and therefore impossible to enforce, see our article in response to last week’s announcements.
It’s all about practice and gaining experience, in my opinion. Restrictions such as curfews will not aid this, they could actually make it worse – at some stage or other, young drivers will have to drive at night, by putting a curfew on this, it is only really delaying the inevitable.
A much more practical solution is telematics technology. The days have long gone when young people see a black box in their car as a personal invasion of their privacy and a chance for mum or dad to track their whereabouts (they can easily do this nowadays with mobile phones anyway if they really want to!).
This generation, their parents and a growing majority of road safety, emergency and Government bodies, see the benefit of a piece of technology which through its performance measurement process, actually does control driving in a way. Better still, as young drivers maintain their good driving performance levels, they are rewarded with lower insurance premiums.
Young people often need motivation and telematics provides a real incentive with a tangible reward if they do well.
Numbers of young drivers opting for telematics is growing, as is the appetite across Europe to consider this technology as a compulsory commodity in every new car coming off the production line in future years.
It is pleasing to see it becoming more mainstream and more accepted. We have had firsthand experience of this ourselves recently and are delighted to report we are now working with Allianz in the young driver market (here’s more details on this partnership)
I’m delighted that such a leading insurer is putting its weight behind the telematics product. It serves to endorse my own belief that telematics has much to offer us as one of a number of solutions to making young drivers safer on our roads.
I hope the Government chooses to give it some proper consideration as part of its forthcoming Green Paper.