Coroner points finger at black box technology
A coroner in Gloucestershire has concluded that two teenagers who died in a car crash may have been rushing home to beat a curfew placed on their car through black box technology (Gazette).
Oliver Pain (18) and his passenger and friend Harry Smith (17) died while driving home from a night out with fellow members of the Sodbury Vale Young Farmers’ group.
An iKube, a small black box which uses GPS to track the vehicle, had been installed in the car by insurers Towergate Smart.
As part of the policy agreement, aimed at making insurance cheaper, the car should have been stationary from 11pm to 5am - otherwise the owner received a £100 fine.
David Dooley, acting Gloucestershire coroner, said that he believed the disparity in penalties encouraged young drivers to speed home to beat the curfew.
He said: “I do consider that this technology, perhaps inadvertently, is creating a risk that wasn't there beforehand. It is geared towards hurting them in the pocket by breaching their curfew.
“There's perhaps an incentive in the mind of an 18-year-old. On the balance of probabilities, the decision to speed was to avoid breaching this curfew penalty.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death for both men, Mr Dooley said he would write to Towergate Smart to ask them to review their penalty policy to prevent similar circumstances in the future.
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