September 24, 2010

Opinion is split, Insurance Times reports, over whether it’s a good idea to give recently qualified young drivers a ‘graduate licence.’

Rather than entitling the holder to mope about dreamily in sunlit swimming pools, shag older women, and run off with their daughters, said graduate licence would restrict teenagers with recently acquired ‘motor skills’ from driving at night, carrying young passengers and perhaps even having the odd beer pre-flight.

But a fierce row has broken out, Insurance Times claims, between saucily-named new pay-per-mile motor insurer Insure the Box and the rest of the world aged 20 or over.

Mike Brockman of ITB, a man, as we shall see, with a bent for a classical allusion, has branded proposals for a graduate licence ‘draconian,’ by which, we may safely assume, he refers to the seventh century Athenian legislator Draco who provided that city with its first (allegedly somewhat harsh) penal code rather than that bloke in Harry Potter.

“We believe you shouldn’t restrict young drivers’ driving ability,” Mike Brockman argues not unreasonably. “Our ethos [another classical reference, see] is about educating young people.” Ah, yes, but isn’t that what Socrates used to say, and look what that old bugger got up to!

Not to be swayed by idle talk about youngsters being 17 times more dangerous behind the wheel than 50 year olds, or even the claim made by Swiftcover’s James Osterberg this week that insurance premiums could come down by 10% if the proposals were implemented, Brockman is determined to fight the kids’ corner.

In any case, he claims, “If you tell young people they cannot do something – they almost certainly will.”


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