Strong push for young-driver telematics in response to Gvmnt research


Strong push for young-driver telematics in response to Government sponsored research

The publication of the Transport Road Laboratory’s long-awaited research paper of young driver licensing has had an unexpected result – the strong push from at least one insurer of telematics insurance products.

The research report – which we review here – contains no mention of telematics, despite the fact that research from other parts of government have strongly recommended that when considering young driver issues telematics has an important role to play.

Co-op insurance was quick to respond to the research paper by saying that the recommendedation to place restrictions on night-time driving on young drivers ‘should not be part of the solution to increase safety’.

The Co-op Director of General Insurance James Hillon, said:

We fully support the aim of making the roads safer for everyone, but believe that educating novice young drivers will be more effective than imposing such a restriction…but believe these issues can be better tackled by encouraging them to drive safely.

Earlier this year a government quango published the Impact Study on Intelligent Mobility which among many things encouraged the development of ecodriving.

Ecodriving is using an installed device – or a app sitting in the driver’s smart phone – to coach the driver on efficient and safe driving.

Among other things the mobility report report drew attention to research which shows that coached ecodriving from telematics devices in addition to producing safer drivers can also 

help make ecodriving a habit. It is estimated that ecodriving can improve fuel efficiency by 10% for drivers over the medium term (more than 3 years after initial training) that use it where ITS systems can help maximise this benefit…

Read more about the safety and other issues highlighted in the study here.

The Co-op says its telematics product:

“…cut accident rates by a fifth by helping to inform young people how to improve their driving and rewarding responsible driving with lower premiums.”

It has also had an affect on claims – serious claims for what it describes as ‘catastrophic’ accidents are 30% lower.



    Jonathan Coe, Editor

    Journalist and comms specialist for over 40 years – trained in print, broadcasting, and industrial intranet. Written about comms policy (eg. as radio editor at Time Out); held senior comms roles in public bodies (National Health Service, local government) and privatised undertakings (London Electricity – now Electricité de France). Since, has developed interests in the ordinary citizen's use of judicial review to challenge irrational decisions of government and the use of rights (like the Freedom of Information Act) to explore irrational decisions (like the BBC's original decision to close the BBC digital radio service BBC 6 Music).

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