DfT wants telematics research before young driver green paper
The DfT has ruled out publishing a green paper on young driver safety until it has more research into how telematics can improve driving behaviours, according to Post online.
Post, a publication and website for the insurance industry, says that news that the DfT wants to conduct research into the safety benefits of telematics (via the Transport Research Laboratory) emerged during a Westminster Hall debate earlier this week hosted by Robert Goodwill, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) and several telematics providers including Ingenie, Marmalade, Insure the Box and Carrot Insurance, were represented at the event.
The Post article says that “telematics dominated the agenda”, but the ABI’s recommendation for graduated driver licensing received less attention. The article suggests that the Government is no longer exploring the option of imposing a nighttime curfew for young drivers.
Ed Rochfort, from Carrot, said: “It was pretty much agreed around the table that curfews were not the way we should go. (The DfT) said it was very keen to conduct some proper research on the behaviour-changing capacity of telematics.
“I got the impression the green paper has been kicked into the long grass. The minister said he would be happy to avoid legislation if there was clear evidence the market was acting on improving young driver safety.”
Graeme Trudgill, Biba, added: “It was a positive meeting about the future of telematics and the Government is very keen on the potential for growth in this area. The minister said he felt telematics had tremendous potential, and the DfT is considering if any research in this area would help – everyone thought this would be good.”
However, Post says that the insurance industry has warned against viewing telematics as a complete solution to achieving increased safety among young drivers.
A spokesman for the ABI said: “It was broadly recognised that, in itself, telematics was not the silver bullet. The group (at the DfT meeting) agreed more research needed to be done into the effectiveness of telematics in improving road safety.
“Ultimately, the technology shows promise, but very little evidence exists to demonstrate its effectiveness in improving road safety outcomes for young people.”
A DfT spokesman commented to Post: “We are considering new research into how telematics can change the behaviour and attitudes of learner drivers and we will issue a paper when we have considered this further.