PQs 18th – 21st June

Driving Offences: Insurance
 
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will estimate the number of uninsured drivers excluding drivers in London (a) on the most recent date for which figures are available, (b) in 2007 and (c) in 2002. [112331]
Mike Penning: The number of uninsured vehicles in Great Britain has fallen from 2 million in 2005 to 1.4 million in 2010 and 1.2 million today. We have no numbers by region so cannot exclude London and figures were not collected for 2002 and 2007.
Driving under Influence
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to inform drivers as to the dangers of drinking and driving. [112092]
 
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport is currently developing its drink drive communication plans for 2012-13 and future years. The plan will be subject to the controls on advertising and marketing spend governed by the Efficiency and Reform Group.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents have involved drink-drivers in each of the last five years. [112093]
Mike Penning: The information requested is available on the Department’s website, from the following link:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ras51001
Highway Code
 
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the current typical stopping distances in yards were added to the Highway Code; when the distances were last revised; and whether she has any plans to revise them in future. [112330]
Mike Penning: The six typical stopping distances first appeared together in the 1969 edition of The Highway Code, although some date from 1946. The stopping distances have not changed since then. They are currently expressed in metres and in feet. However, the current edition of the Code published in 2007 made it clear that
“The distances shown are a general guide. The distance will depend on your attention (thinking distance), the road surface, the weather conditions and the condition of your vehicle at the time”.
We currently have no plans to carry out another revision. When we carry out the next revision to the Code we will as usual undertake a consultation on proposed changes to the Code.
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
 
Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2012, Official Report, column 784W, on motor vehicles: insurance, and with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1277W, on motor vehicles: excise duties, what assessment her Department has made of the factors which account for the difference between its estimate of the 1.2 million vehicles uninsured and 249,000 unlicensed vehicles. [111516]
Mike Penning: We have not made an assessment of the difference between the estimates for uninsured and unlicensed vehicles. Although a vehicle must be insured for the month when it is licensed, the keeping or driving of an uninsured vehicle and the keeping or using of an unlicensed vehicle are separate offences. Insurance policies and vehicle excise duty do not run concurrently; they can expire or be cancelled at different times.
The police and the DVLA carry out enforcement against insurance and licensing offences.
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department has taken to tackle fraudulent insurance claims in the last (a) two and (b) five years. [111905]
Mike Penning: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 14 June 2012, Official Report, column 532W.
 
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had with (a) law firms and (b) insurance companies on (i) uninsured driving, (ii) fraudulent claims and (iii) lowering insurance premiums for law-abiding drivers. [111906]
 
Mike Penning: There have been no recent discussions with law firms.
Uninsured driving and fraud contribute to the cost of insurance. On 2 May 2012 the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) hosted a cross Government summit with the insurance industry on measures to reduce the cost of premiums.
I would also refer my hon. Friend to my response of 14 June 2012, Official Report, column 532W, on what the Government is doing to tackle uninsured driving, fraud and the cost of insurance.
Electric Vehicles
 
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department is undertaking collaborative work with the European Commission to secure an early adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure standards. [110897]
 
Norman Baker: The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is driving plug-in vehicle infrastructure standards in the relevant UK and European forums. OLEV is a member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) PEL/069 Committee, which sets UK standards and represents UK interests in EU standards setting bodies such as the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC).
The Government also actively participates, at both ministerial and official level, in CARS 21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System), a Commission-led process to make recommendations for the policy and regulatory framework for the European automotive industry. The EC intends to adopt a communication on the recommendations, including on recharging infrastructure, of the CARS 21 process, to which both my Department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will be responding.
Biofuels
 
Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on proposals from the European Commission to increase the ratio of biofuels. [111367]
Norman Baker: The Renewable Energy Directive agreed by Member States in 2008, set a target for the UK to source 10 per cent of energy used in transport from renewable sources by 2020.
The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation implements the Directive by setting targets to increase the use of renewable fuels in UK road transport with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. It places an obligation on fuel suppliers to ensure that a certain proportion of fuel supplied is biofuel (4.5% in 2012/13 rising to 5% from 2013/14 onwards).
Genuinely sustainable biofuels have a role to play in efforts to tackle climate change, but it is crucial that this sustainability is assured and genuine greenhouse gas savings realised. Urgent action is needed to address indirect land use change in the Renewable Energy Directive and we have called on the European Commission to come forward with a proposal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, we amended the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in December 2011 to ensure that biofuels supplied meet the mandatory sustainability requirements set out in the Directive.
Cars: Insurance
 
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had on the use of spy technology in the car to track drivers and reduce insurance costs. [112214]
Mike Penning: The Secretary of State has not had any discussions on the use of “spy” technology in cars.
On 2 May the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening) hosted a cross-Government summit with the insurance industry on measures to reduce the cost of premiums.
One measure, especially for young drivers, which the insurance industry is introducing, is the use of telematics or “smartbox” technology which monitors driving behaviour, giving drivers the opportunity to reduce car insurance premiums by driving safely and responsibly. Such technology is used with the full knowledge and consent of the person insuring the vehicle.
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost of car insurance was in each of the last five years. [109676]
Mike Penning: The average cost of car motor insurance premiums for each of the last five years can be considered in two different ways. Data from the AA’s “shoparound” survey shows the average development in quotes for annual comprehensive car insurance policies. Data from the ABI shows the average premium actually paid, based on a sample of insurance companies.

hows the average premium actually paid, based on a sample of insurance companies.

£
Source 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Automobile Association (AA) (October 2011)

463

503

569

792

921

Association of British Insurers (ABI) (annual data)

352

348

340

390

(1)

(1 )Not yet available. Note: The AA figures do not fully take into account the price of the policy finally agreed; and renewals of existing policies may be cheaper than quotes for new policies.
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