PQs 12th – 13th November

Motor Vehicles: Insurance
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the demographic background of drivers who have signed up to schemes using telematics. [127430]
Stephen Hammond: The Secretary of State for Transport has made no assessment of the demographic background of drivers who have signed up to schemes using telematics.
PACTS comments: Telematics accounts for a growing but still relatively small proportion of the insurance industry. There is a possibility that it is used more by young drivers of a higher socioeconomic background, as this group is more likely to own their own car where telematics technology can be applied. As the Department for Transport is keen for telematics to be part of the solution to high insurance premiums for younger drivers, perhaps it should carry out or commission some analysis of its current use and potential and its impact on safety.
Motor Vehicles: Insurance
 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effect on the annual average price of car insurance of the introduction of the ban on gender discrimination in December 2012; [127661]
(2) what estimate he has made of the average annual car insurance premium for (a) male and (b) female persons aged between 17 and 25; [127665]
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of users of telematics technology in each of the next five years; [127679]
(4) what his policy is on promoting the use of telematics technology for young drivers. [127680]
Stephen Hammond: The Government has made very clear its concerns about any move to prevent the use of gender as a risk factor in the pricing of insurance policies. We suspect that the impact of the judgment might in the short-term raise the cost of motor insurance for women drivers and give a smaller decrease for men. The Government continues to work closely with the Financial Services Authority and Association of British Insurers on this issue.
The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire Dales (Mr McLoughlin), has made no estimates for the average cost of car insurance for males or females between the ages of 17 and 25. However, you may find it useful to, know that on the 23 October, the AA British Insurance Premium Index published their findings on car insurance premiums for the three months ending 30 September 2012:
http://www.theaa.com/services/insuranceandfinance/insuranceindex/index.html
We continue to working closely with the motor insurance industry to examine initiatives to reduce insurance premiums.
The Secretary of State for Transport has made no estimates of the number of telematics users in each of the next five years. Some insurers have introduced the use of telematics or in-car black boxes to allow better risk-based pricing of insurance for young people.
The use of telematics or in-car technology means insurers now have a real time data feed, which allows them to see an individual’s driving behaviour, which has not been possible in the past.
There is some evidence that suggests that young drivers could see their annual premiums fall by 20% or more with a black box installed, saving many hundreds of pounds over time.
Research so far has also shown that use of telematics can significantly reduce crash rates and levels of risky driving behaviours.
We welcome the increasing number of insurers who are making use of this technology. We are supportive of any measures that make driving safer and also want to see improvements in young driver safety reflected in their insurance premiums.
Driving: Eyesight
 
Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to highlight the dangers of driving with poor eyesight. [128272]
Stephen Hammond: Rule 92 of the Highway Code highlights that it is a statutory requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses while driving if you need them to read a number plate in good daylight from a distance of 20 metres. A number of Driving Standards Agency publications also highlight the dangers of driving with poor eyesight. The police have the power to require a driver to undertake an eyesight test.
Drivers must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres with glasses or corrective lenses if necessary. They must also notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency if at any time they develop an eye condition that affects their visual acuity or field and provide assurance that they have never been advised that they cannot meet 6/12 measured on a Snellen eyesight chart. Drivers who fail to notify or who drive while unable to read a number plate from the appropriate distance are committing an offence and may invalidate their motor insurance.
Roads: Accidents
 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of how many (a) male and (b) female drivers aged between 17 and 25 have been responsible for causing road traffic accidents in each of the last five years. [127664]
Stephen Hammond: The Department does not collect information explicitly on responsibility for road traffic accidents nor does it attribute any blame to drivers for accidents.
The Department also only collects information relating to personal injury accidents, and therefore does not include damage-only accidents in its statistics.
The number of male and female car drivers, aged 17 to 24 inclusive, involved in personal injury accidents in each of the last five years are as follows:
Reported number of drivers aged 17 to 24 inclusive involved in personal injury accidents, by gender, Great Britain, 2007-11
Number of drivers
Male Female

2007

33,271

18,895

2008

29,869

17,898

2009

28,138

17,403

2010

23,676

15,535

2011

21,244

14,583

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