The insurance industry must help tackle the escalating problem of ‘staged crashes’ and the Government must do more to bring down the casualty rate among young drivers, according to Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee.
Speaking while launching a new report, ‘The cost of motor insurance’, Lousie Ellman, said: “Wider access to justice is to be welcomed but it has come at a significant cost, with far more personal injury claims being made than in the past.
"The police made plain to the committee that ‘staged accidents’ are on the increase and that, so far, we have been lucky there have been no fatalities resulting from such incidents.
“That luck may run out unless the insurance industry acts rapidly to help the police target this kind of insurance fraud."
Ms Ellman has also called on the Government to do more as a matter of urgency to bring down the ‘appalling’ casualty rate amongst young drivers, including making the driving test more rigorous.
She said: “If we are to curb the casualty rate, especially among young drivers, then it is essential that the driving test properly prepares drivers for motoring.
“We welcome the (road safety) minister’s commitment to make the driving test more rigorous but proposals for change have been around for years.
“What matters now is that the Government publishes for consultation the changes it wants to make, with a timetable for implementing them before the next election."
In addition, the committee recommends that the Government should:
- Set out a clear timetable for new data sharing arrangements between the DVLA and motor insurers.
- Undertake a promotional campaign, aimed at young drivers, to alert them to Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE – the requirement for the keeper of any registered vehicle to have valid motor insurance).
- Review the penalties for uninsured driving one year after CIE has been implemented.
- Fund research to review international experience in restraining the number of personal injury claims relating to motor insurance, with the aim of publishing a discussion paper during 2012 outlining possible options for change.
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