Government releases road safety statement
The government has finally announced its intentions for road safety, and it's good news.
Graduated licensing ruled out
Graduated Driver Licensing - and specifically 'restrictions on newly qualified drivers' - seems to be off the table, and as it's mentioned in the same breath as telematics, it would appear the government believes telematics insurance to be a valuable alternative to GDL.
ingenie has always stood against the restrictions GDL would impose on young drivers, such as limiting passengers or night-time driving. We firmly believe that telematics can provide the benefits of GDL without the drawbacks.
Regular feedback, financial incentives and ongoing education. That's ingenie's recipe for safer drivers, and it’s resulted in our community being 40% less likely to crash than the national average for young drivers.
'Rewards-based' insurance endorsed
The government has promised to support insurance that offers incentives for safe driving, and sees black box policies as a 'blueprint' for reducing crashes.
It also makes positive mention of how the rewards-based model could be evolved to incentivise other safety factors, such as choice of car or extra education. Extending the benefits of telematics that we’ve seen with younger drivers to other age groups and professional drivers is also a matter of interest in the statement.
It's fantastic to get this news - it's the vote of confidence we've been waiting for from this government. We've always said we're ready to support further investigation into telematics with our insight from 500 million miles of driving data. If it means fewer crashes and easier access to the road for young drivers, we're in.
More focus on pre-test education
We've talked a lot about making sure young learners are getting enough hours of both private and professional practice, and the government has announced similar concerns. One area of discussion is the incentivisation of more pre-test practice and more real-world experience - including learners possibly being allowed on the motorway with their instructor.
This is an area we know technology will play a huge part in, very likely in partnership with telematics, and it's a great focus for the government.
Tackling dangerous driving
Last weekend, the papers covered the increase in penalty points and fine for drivers using mobile phones at the wheel.
Where the penalty was 3 points and a £100 fine for car drivers, it will now be 4 points and £150. For first time offenders, this could be avoided with an educational course, like the very successful speed awareness course.
The government has confirmed a £750,000 investment in tackling drug driving, and has pledged more technology for the police to help them enforce the law, as seen with the oral swab drug test the police began using in March 2015.
Road safety focuses for the government:
- Adopting the Safe Systems approach to put people at the heart of road safety
- Protecting vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists and horse riders
- Tackling illegality (speed, drink or drug driving, mobile phones)
- Improved driver training and testing to meet real life conditions
- Work with insurers on telematics and driver skills (but not graduated driver licensing)
- Working with employers to reduce road collisions at work, including HGVs
- Encouraging uptake of safer cars through consumer information and government procurement
- Promoting autonomous vehicles that enhance road safety
- An increased budget for THINK! campaigns
- More enforcement technologies for the police
- Supporting Highways England
- A road safety management capacity review
- Further devolution of road safety powers
- Continued research and evaluation, including crash investigation
- Partnership working, including the emergency services
[We] want everyone to enjoy the confidence and freedom to travel by whatever mode of transport they choose, in a manner that is considerate of other road users.
Road safety minister