Category: Insurance

Operation Safeway concluded successfully

Operation Safeway concluded successfully

You’re probably wondering what exactly Operation Safeway was all about and what relevance does it have to road traffic?

As it happens Operation Safeway, which was concluded on 10th January 2014 and has a great deal of relevance to urban road safety, drivers’ habits and indeed the conduct of cyclists.

Operation Safeway was the Metropolitan Police’s response to an alarming and widely reported increase in cycling deaths on the streets of the capital

It involved flooding the streets of London with 2,500 police officers at road junctions and at many other locations on the capital’s streets and needless to say thousands of road traffic offences were detected as a direct consequence affecting drivers and cyclists alike.  The statistics published for this aptly-named operation include figures for Fixed Penalty Notices [FPNs] issued against both drivers and cyclists.

The figures, while perhaps predictable enough, are worth reviewing:

  • Contravening traffic signals (red lights): 1,113 FPNs/reports for summons
  • Using a mobile phone while driving: 2,597 FPNs/reports for summons
  • Failing to wear a seatbelt: 2,484 FPNs/reports for summons
  • Driving without due care and attention: 93 FPNs/reports for summons
  • Other matters (e.g. driving without insurance, defective vehicles, bald tyres and so on) = 3,853 FPNs/reports for summons

10,140 drivers received FPNs or reports for summons

Cyclists were also monitored carefully and 4,269 individuals were the subject of FPNs or reports for summons of which the two most prevalent offences were using a pedal cycle at night without lights and contravening traffic signals.

An urban area like London is inevitably going to see a concentration of certain types of offence and the wide use of mobile phones whilst driving is perhaps no great surprise although there can be no excuse for it.  However the numbers of drivers not bothering to buckle up is depressing some 31 years after it became compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers to wear seat belts.

The seriousness of this is reflected in a maximum fine of £500 for the failure to wear a belt and of course the law has been considerably extended since 1983

Traffic signal offences were also prevalent in the figures and again in the capital with its huge number of junctions this is unsurprising but it is also worth observing that contravention of traffic signals – disobeying a red light – is the third most common road traffic offence in this country according to one leading online insurance broker.

TS10, the code for this offence, carries 3 points and discretionary disqualification plus the standard victim surcharge at a court hearing, as well as the considerable likelihood of increased insurance premiums

As Operation Safeway progressed and as the weeks passed the need to issue FPNs declined noticeably as attitudes changed, London’s roads became somewhat safer, and that must be the positive side of this story.

Newnham & Jordan can advise you on all road traffic legal matters including potential insurance offences.

 Call us now on 0845 680 7871

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &   Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for   any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this   article or any external articles it may refer or link to.

Telematics Motor Insurance and the Black Box recorder

Telematics and Car Insurance

Telematics Telematics Telematics

Originally the preserve of (young and therefore often riskier) drivers before very long we can all look forward to embracing “telematics” when we are shopping for car insurance.

New drivers will be familiar with insurance companies that offer the potential of lower premiums in exchange for having a black box (perhaps a more understandable name than telematics) fitted to their vehicle which monitors their driving and sends back data to the company silently and unobtrusively. With the technology which supports insurers’ black boxes shortly to become a standard fitment in all new cars it will be but a short step to take for insurers to roll out telematics to all of their customers meaning it won’t be long before policy holders who shun the adoption of this 21st century technology will be in a minority – and that will likely mean higher premiums for the privilege of opting out. Of course this isn’t going to happen overnight but the writing is surely on the wall.

Under EU regulations a system known as eCall designed to help the emergency services locate vehicles involved in accidents will have to be fitted in all new vehicles manufactured from October 2015. This particular EU regulation is surely a good thing which one can also foresee being used by the AA and RAC, for example, to locate you swiftly in the event of a breakdown.

Insurance companies are already expanding the adoption of Telematics and from a point in the first few years of this century when it was very novel (and quite expensive to fit) the system is gaining in popularity and adoption by motorists, aided now by a variety of mobile phone apps which, with some inevitability, are being introduced; according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association the current telematics use of less than 1% of drivers is likely to rise to 10% within three years and to 15% within five years. One management consultancy has predicted that by 2020 something like 50% of vehicles will have some kind of electronic black box circuitry fitted.

As more and more vehicles reach Britain’s roads with the electronic circuitry ready-fitted the impetus will be increasingly on expanding the use of telematics to better assess risk. And assessing risk will be easy for the insurance companies, as it is now, with black boxes already monitoring the how, when and where of your vehicle use to determine how good or bad a driver you are; whether you only take the car for a run on a Sunday afternoon or whether you hit the road in the rush hour and whether you drive fast and brake hard or you drive consistently and brake gently, anticipating hazards in good time. Good young drivers have already seen some benefit from this technology although the savings may not have been that spectacular after allowing for the cost of installation. True value will come with year after year of use as insurance companies can see a pattern of driving behaviour for themselves, even if there are also important privacy considerations attached to this. The point is that telematics has not been pushed very much thus far but with insurance companies seeing that it does work, and with the EU regulations only serving to encourage this tracking technology, we are going to see a lot more of it soon.

While we don’t have to accept the use of telematics for our own insurance the situation will soon arise whereby it will become the norm and declining it will mean higher premiums – all a bit like insisting on paying for your gas and electric by cheque rather than monthly direct debit or paying for your water based on rateable value instead of a meter. Of course these are different commodities but increasingly the public is being directed down particular routes that save the supplying company time and money and car insurance will be no different; telematics will tell the insurance companies all they need to know about your driving habits automatically and if you are a low mileage driver, for instance, who only drives at quiet times of day, and leaves the car on the drive for extended periods, it is very likely you stand to benefit from this technology.

Newnham & Jordan can advise you on all road traffic legal matters including potential insurance offences.

 Call us now on 0845 680 7871

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &   Jordan Solicitors cannot accept  responsibility for   any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this   article or any external articles it may refer or link to.

Telematics Motor Insurance and the Black Box recorder
Motor Insurance – Utmost good faith and MyLicence

Motor Insurance – Utmost good faith and MyLicence

Most motorists simply renew cover with their existing insurer or shop around for a better deal.  Nowadays, in fact, it very rarely pays to stick with your current insurer and customer loyalty seems to matter little.

However it is so important to provide accurate information for a quote or you might find yourself in a very serious financial and legal position in the event of a claim.  One of the cardinal principles governing insurance is that of “utmost good faith” and this applies as much to customers as to insurance companies.

Few people enjoy the process of completing quote forms online and some of the questions seem unnecessarily onerous; exactly how many years a full licence has been held (does it really matter if is 27 or 28 years, for heaven’s sake, and what was the precise date I passed the test?) but the importance of completing the details accurately cannot be underestimated and a false answer can come back to haunt you.

Recent research conducted by Consumer Intelligence indicates that 1 in 12 drivers has admitted to giving incorrect answers to insurers and this equates to a potential 2.4 million drivers driving around on policies with incorrect information.

It does matter to state where you park the car overnight, what your likely annual mileage is, who the main driver is (take particular care with sons and daughters) and whether you use your vehicle for personal business purposes.  Similarly it matters a lot to come clean – however painful it is – about points on your licence and even, with some insurers, whether you have been on a Driver Awareness Course which hasn’t involved points at all.  Unfortunately disclosing points will increase your premium but if you were later forced to make a claim and undisclosed points were discovered this could have severe consequences which might range from a refusal to meet a claim to voiding of your insurance from inception, which in turn would leave you uninsured on the day and potentially facing prosecution for driving with no insurance.

Now what is it with MyLicence?  Well, very soon the insurance companies will have their own access to DVLA to check your licence for themselves.  This is a new scheme called, you’ve guessed it,  MyLicence, which is being tested from February 2014 with a view to full implementation soon afterwards.  Perhaps this will avoid much difficulty over the accuracy of driver records but utmost good faith will always apply and that tedious online form still needs all your attention.

At Newnham & Jordan Solicitors we are able to assist and advise you with regard to a variety of motoring offences and motoring issues.

 Call us now on 0845 680 7871

This article is intended for general information purposes only and  shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. Newnham &   Jordan Solicitors, in Wimborne Dorset, cannot accept  responsibility for   any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in  respect of this   article or any external articles it may refer or link to.

 

 

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