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Government urged to put telematics at heart of road safety plans

Telematics technology must play a leading role in government plans to improve road safety.

Young people driving

Trak Global says people who have learned to drive safer at a young age carry that through into adult life

That’s according to Trak Global Group, which says that: “The more encouragement the Government gives to telematics, the more we can reduce accidents.”

Speaking after the Government published its 50-point strategy to tackle road justice and protect vulnerable road users, Trak Global director Andrew Brown-Allan explained: “The focus for ministers is on using increased legal sanctions against motorists who, for example, tailgate cyclists, or increasing sentences for dangerous driving, but in our view a longer-term solution is to harness the educational benefits of telematics and improve the way young people drive in their early years.”

Brown-Allan highlighted how telematics has delivered a major reduction in accidents among young drivers. This includes in Trak Global’s own young driver insurance business Carrot, which has seen a 42% reduction in accidents among customers using its telematics, compared to young drivers with a traditional insurance policy.

And in the market as a whole, the firm says telematics has driven down claim-related losses for insurance companies and helped reduced casualties by 35% among 17-19-year-olds since 2011. This compares with 16% of the driving population as a whole.

Brown-Allan added: “Telematics makes a significant contribution to road safety and we have found that having learned to drive safer and better, our customers carry that behaviour through to adult driving.”

He also welcomed a recent DfT initiative, Driver 2020, where 14,000 motorists will see their vehicles installed with telematics boxes – which record speed, braking and cornering behaviour– for a road safety trial. As part of the Driver 2020 initiative, Trak Global is also developing a free telematics app for learner drivers, which will enable students to keep track of their progress and easily identify areas of improvement.

But the use of telematics is not restricted to young drivers and the company says telematics is an ideal tool for achieving large-scale road safety improvements in the UK.

Telematics can also help reduce the environmental impact of vehicles, with better driving resulting in reduced fuel consumption.

“With its proven track record in cutting accidents and its wider benefits to society and the environment, I’d like to see the use of telematics incentivised by the government – including through the tax system – and put at the heart of its road safety programme,” concluded Brown-Allan.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.