October 4, 2012

Every time someone comes up with a sensible idea to help make British society safer and more predictable for decent minded people everywhere, some bunch of special interest lobbyists starts prancing about like Christopher bleedin’ “Codplay” Martin hooting on about: “Oh no, you can’t do this, can’t do that, not fair, blah, blah, blah.” Frankly, it makes Bankstone News sick.

No sooner had insurers’ representative organisation the ABI announced its eminently sound programme for putting a friendly hand on the shoulder of young motorists and steering them gently but firmly away from the path of wrongtiousness, than a whole swathe of firms trying to sell things to youngsters rush to ingratiate themselves with their target customers with cries of: “Ooh no, isn’t that a bit harsh, unnecessary, not as good as the thing we are trying to sell etc.”

Along with requiring youngsters to observe a lower alcohol limit, spend at least a year learning to drive, cut their hair, and turn that bloody music down, the AIB suggested, very reasonably, that those under the age of 25 should not be allowed to drive between 11pm and 4am.

Not only will this massively improve road safety by encouraging young people to stay home Facebooking, X-Boxing, taking drugs or whatever – it will also boost revenues for motorway service stations and all night food emporia as those delayed by heavy traffic sit out the small hours wherever fate may pitch them up come the eleventh hour.

But, oh no, that’s not good enough for telematically inclined insurance providers insurethebox.com. The ABC’s proposals are “not the best way to cut the number of serious accidents,” says insureyourbox.com chief exec Kent Brockman. With a naivete that might be charming if it weren’t so dangerously misguided, Brockman suggests that the best way to “get young people to improve is to educate and incentivise them.”

But if today’s youngsters have no fear of wrapping themselves round lamp posts after dark, what on earth could incentivise them not to spend their nights putting their own and others’ lives at risk? Brockman’s answer is as predictable as it is risible: telematics!

Insurethepox.com claim their data tells them that “young drivers are 75% less likely to cause an accident 11 months after taking out their Insurethebox policy.” A few quid off their premiums and they’ll never go back to their bad old ways!

Bankstone News’ research, however, found that young people who are happy to have a telematics box in their cars are 100% less likely to be the kind of people who cause accidents at 11pm or any other time of day – and thoroughly deserve whatever premium discounts their careful driving earns them.

Of course, compulsory universal telematics would be another matter! If every vehicle in the UK were fitted with one of these little devices, those who drove unsuitably could simply be taken off the roads. For good. Then we really would be getting somewhere!


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