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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 17:53 
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We're told we have over 1 million uninsured drivers. Police bosses seem to think this problem can be addressed with ANPR despite the fact that insurance applies to DRIVERS and not VEHICLES.

But I think things have gone so far that we have to give up trying to deal with uninsured drivers individually and deal with the problem nationally.

I think I'd just cut out all the complexity and stick a third party insurance levy on the cost of fuel. No more paperwork. No more uninsured drivers. No more need to detect and prosecute uninsured drivers. I presume that the resources freed up could then be used to improve road safety.

We'd probably want to preserve the insurance industry by having the government purchase third party motor insurenace from existing companies in blocks based on part of the registration number. For example we could create 999 blocks by using the numeric part of a registration number, or 99 blocks by using the last 2 numeric digits of registration numbers.

People would obviously still wish to buycomprehensive cover for more expensive vehicles.

It might be argued that this system would permit 17 year olds to drive Porsches, but regulation by price of insurance was a very poor system in the first place - Rich folk could effectively ignore it for a start. If 17 year olds in Porsches need regulating, then let's do it properly and fairly with licence conditions.

By way of a quick estimate if the average car does 10,000 miles per year at 30mpg and the average 3rd party insurance policy costs £150, and fuel costs 80p per litre fuel cost would rise to 90p per litre.

There would be a significant saving in administration - no third party insurance policies to sell for example - so in reality we could hope for a rise of perhaps 7p per litre.

There would be a nice big saving in Police resources - no need to deal with uninsured drivers - and they could use these resources to improve road safety.

Higher mileage motorists would pay more, which is fair. Users of larger cars would pay more, which is fair. The increase in the cost of fuel would help to discourage "unnecessary car use" which is something that the environmental lobby seems to desire. And finally the increase in the cost of fuel would help reduce carbon emissions (which is daft, but desired).

Problem solved?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 19:25 
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Insure the vehicle rather than the driver.

Have a single ANPR database for management of VED, INSURANCE, MOT and DRIVER.

If any flag up as a problem, then stop and question driver.

Want to deal with cloned plates? Easy. Have a network of ANPR cameras all over the UK. Build an expert system that can determine whether a vehicle's number plate has been cloned (i.e. car ANPR read in Edinburgh at 3pm and London at 4pm) - Stop the latter one. If all legit, let driver go. Flag that reg in the database so that when next ANPR'd the vehicle is again stopped. Repeat until caught cloned car.

The technolog is available to get to the bottom of these problems if there is the politic will to do it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 19:36 
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Paul,

don't think any more cost in the price of fuel would go down very well, not me anyway.

Why don't they implement the system of having to display the insurance on your windscreen like road tax, wouldn't be perfect but a start.

The best idea I think is you pay your insurance and produce mot and road tax and you get a number plate, which shows the date or a code when the car becomes illegal i.e. when insurance, tax or mot runs out, this would eventually encourage, or could be implemented, a system where all are paid on the same date making admin much easier as well.

Andrew


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 20:07 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I think I'd just cut out all the complexity and stick a third party insurance levy on the cost of fuel. No more paperwork. No more uninsured drivers. No more need to detect and prosecute uninsured drivers. I presume that the resources freed up could then be used to improve road safety.

But in effect we already have this through the Motor Insurers' Bureau.

http://www.mib.org.uk/

And the problem with uninsured drivers is not purely that they have no insurance, but that they are almost certain not to be legit in various other ways, such as having no VED, no MoT and possibly even be either disqualified or never passed a test.

Scrapping the insurance requirement would tend to encourage all these other offences.

Regards,

Peter

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 07:51 
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If the government starts buying mass insurance it is likely the price of third party insurance will go up as you add in their inefficiency. It also means essentially every safe driver gets to pay more for their third party insurance than they would have done before. As we can't stop uninsured drivers now I don't see how we are going to stop the 17 year old in a Porsche. Also does it mean that joyriders would be fully insured as the vehicle they are travelling will have bought fuel?

The penalties for driving without insurance etc need to be much higher. When reading the court reports uninsured drivers are typically fined less than £200 which is far less than the insurance premium they are avoiding in the first place. Crushing the cars of uninsured drivers when they are stopped and can't prove they have insurance (this is where the insurance sticker is a great idea) would deter quite a few people from doing it. Vehicles worth more than a grand should probably be towed and sold as there is a greater loss involved if the powers that be do make a mistake. It should also make cloning less worthwhile as you would still need an actual insurance disk to prove you were insured rather than just an entry on a database against that registration.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 08:25 
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An interesting range of responses....

cra wrote:
Insure the vehicle rather than the driver.

Have a single ANPR database for management of VED, INSURANCE, MOT and DRIVER.

If any flag up as a problem, then stop and question driver.

Want to deal with cloned plates? Easy. Have a network of ANPR cameras all over the UK. Build an expert system that can determine whether a vehicle's number plate has been cloned (i.e. car ANPR read in Edinburgh at 3pm and London at 4pm) - Stop the latter one. If all legit, let driver go. Flag that reg in the database so that when next ANPR'd the vehicle is again stopped. Repeat until caught cloned car.

The technolog is available to get to the bottom of these problems if there is the politic will to do it.


I don't think you're reckoning with the underclass mentality, where a vehicle costs less than an insurance policy, and where proper registration and licencing is unimportant. The huge Police resources to sort this out should better be used for road safety violations.

I do regard uninsured driving as a "safety violation" since insurance is a real practical financial safety net. In cases where someone receives long term injuries their quality of life can be directly affected by the presence of insurance.

But if everyone is automatically insured then we can use those Police hours for detecting dangerous and criminal behaviours.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 08:32 
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PeterE wrote:
But in effect we already have this through the Motor Insurers' Bureau.


Am I not right in thinking that MIB only provides personal injury compensation? Third party property damage isn't covered? It's not at all clear on their web site.

PeterE wrote:
And the problem with uninsured drivers is not purely that they have no insurance, but that they are almost certain not to be legit in various other ways, such as having no VED, no MoT and possibly even be either disqualified or never passed a test.

Scrapping the insurance requirement would tend to encourage all these other offences.


I don't agree with that at all. It's often the high cost of insurance that causes folk to step outside of the legal requirements in the first place. And then if the Police have one less offence to worry about, surely they can be more effective about the ofences that remain?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 08:37 
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I found this TRL report on the subject:

http://www.infrastructureconnect.info/p ... Report.pdf

Apparently the system I suggested is in use in South Africa. Generally it seems to be highly rated, but I do note with some concern mentions of escalating costs.

The same report contains estimates of UK uninsured drivers of 5% and 10%. That's even more than I thought. :(

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 15:20 
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Just playing devil's advocate here, but assuming that those drivers who are uninsured are the ones most likely to be driving unraodworthy vehicles, how does collecting 3rd party insurance premiums at the pumps help? Sure, it means that if I'm run into by someone with dodgy brakes and suffer whiplash and a written off car I know I don't have to worry about the guy's insurance. But frankly I'd prefer that his brakes worked properly so he didn't go into the back of me in the first place.
I'm not saying it's not a good idea, just that a physical safety net would be more desirable than a financial one. If only someone could come up with a way of getting 100% MOT testing compliance.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 16:03 
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Gatsobait wrote:
Just playing devil's advocate here, but assuming that those drivers who are uninsured are the ones most likely to be driving unraodworthy vehicles, how does collecting 3rd party insurance premiums at the pumps help? Sure, it means that if I'm run into by someone with dodgy brakes and suffer whiplash and a written off car I know I don't have to worry about the guy's insurance. But frankly I'd prefer that his brakes worked properly so he didn't go into the back of me in the first place.
I'm not saying it's not a good idea, just that a physical safety net would be more desirable than a financial one. If only someone could come up with a way of getting 100% MOT testing compliance.


Unroadworthy vehicles are not a terribly common cause of accidents, but that's not to say they are not a worthy target for Police enforcement. I don't rate a current MoT certificate as much of a test of roadworthyness.

But I see it this way - if the cops don't have to worry about uninsured vehicles then surely they can spend more time looking for unroadworthy ones?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 22:55 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
But I see it this way - if the cops don't have to worry about uninsured vehicles then surely they can spend more time looking for unroadworthy ones?
Duh! Hadn't thought of that. With fewer plods about than we used to have it makes a lot of sense from that point of view. How would it work in practice then? Would the government effectively become the insurer for all 3rd party claims (and maybe p*** the money away on something else)? Or would the insurance companies bid for some sort of franchise or license to cover all claims in a certain region, in return for which they get a proportion of the levy?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 00:49 
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Spoke to the accountants and the insurance shark in this family - we have at least one member in each profession! :roll: (I am just lowly BiB in family of intellectual high-fliers! :oops: :wink: )


The financial wizzes think that this will be difficult to administrate and ultimately cost more than it does at present. Fuel costs will rocket - and the forensic accountant sees fraud everywhere with this. Unscrupulous garage owner could siphon funds in the accounting system for a start. Lots of small petrol stations in rural backwaters. Also - higher cost of fuel will be passed on to goods, services, taxi and bus fares - so we end up paying for it again. :rolleyes:

Those who do not use cars much and thus use less fuel - may not have paid enough inusrance dosh over to fund the third party bit of their accident . So frequent users will pay for insurance costs of those who hardly use their cars. :rolleyes:


And we all know this government (and the rest ) "Rob Peter to pay paul" :roll: The insurance fund will go into melting pot and be used to fund all government expenditure. Same if funds went to the insurance companies. It would be swallowed somewhere. And these businesses will want to retain their profit margins.

Cannot see this as workable - though acknowledge we need to do better. Perhaps Andy's idea of replacing licence plate annually with relevant data displayed on it - excpet that will not help those who want to spread overheads such as tax, insurance and MOT bills over the year. We do this with the old classic gals. :wink: Or just a simple disc with chip - which our vans, and cars can pick up on patrols.

Think teabelly has right approach on this!

Speaking as BiB - dunno what figures my old patches get these days - as pratnership areas - but do know we do manage to pull significant number here on routine stops. Mix of ANPR and trafpols can help reduce - plus training incentives to lower insurance costs.

And then you will get the fill up and runs from the fore court - and these would rocket from joyrider and underclass brigade who then run around without paying anything just the same! :roll:

Still with teabelly's post here! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:29 
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From my local paper's report on the courts: http://tinyurl.com/24d4k

Most of the fines for driving without insurance are about £100-£150 and those people get a few points and maybe a ban. One person seemed to get some prison time and the odd bit of community service. One person was even fined a whole £250 for no insurance! It's a total joke. One person even got fined £50! That's a night out or a meal with friends. It's bog all. Driving without insurance is clearly an economic decision. Unless these people get caught once a month getting fined is still cheaper than paying their full whack. I am not surprised there are so many uninsured drivers around.

For the persistant offenders I think they might have to remain in the car while it is crushed :twisted:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 17:15 
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teabelly wrote:
From my local paper's report on the courts: http://tinyurl.com/24d4k

Most of the fines for driving without insurance are about £100-£150 and those people get a few points and maybe a ban. One person seemed to get some prison time and the odd bit of community service. One person was even fined a whole £250 for no insurance! It's a total joke. One person even got fined £50! That's a night out or a meal with friends. It's bog all. Driving without insurance is clearly an economic decision. Unless these people get caught once a month getting fined is still cheaper than paying their full whack. I am not surprised there are so many uninsured drivers around.

For the persistant offenders I think they might have to remain in the car while it is crushed :twisted:


I do so agree! I think it is called "political correctness gone mad" - where they means test your ability to pay these fines. :roll:

Think we should go the training route with insurance cost incentives to take some of the sting out of the premium. And intorduce disc as proof of being insured.

Adding to fuel costs would be monster to administrate, and thus costly, and those who do not drive much - but cause thousands of pundworth of damage will not have contributed much - but everyone else will have put into kitty and thus picked up the tab. It has to be system where the responsibility falls on keeper of car and driver 100% - people who want to drive - must do so with fullest responsibility for that privilege. It must be affordable for modest incomes as well.

Adding to petrol will simply mean businesses will pass the extra expense on to customers - so we all pay again in the shopping malls! :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 19:19 
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Don't forget that uninsured offences are currently detected by luck e.g. following an injury collision. Or by chance during a routine stop.

ANPR takes away the need for routine stops for such offences as each alert via the ANPR system is a targeted stop.

So it may well be possible to target many more offenders with the same number of TrafPol but have a much larger impact. Once the stop has been affected and the offender is in custody (or whatever) then another (perhaps Local Authority) team could kick in to deal with the vehicle.

That would free up the TrafPol to go back to the ANPR location and effect the next stop.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 22:35 
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Don't forget that driving wihtout insurance is 6 points too - that means when you get caught twice you get a six month ban, so somebody deciding to drive without insurance a second time around is clearly not doing it to save money but because they just don't give a toss.

Gareth


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