'Black box devices' for new drivers

New drivers could have aeroplane-style black boxes installed in their vehicles in an effort to reduce insurance premiums and accidents in Northern Ireland, it has been claimed.

At a meeting, insurers and DoE minister Alex Attwood discussed the use of technology to monitor the behaviour of drivers.

It is hoped that the black box option, and others too, will go some way towards tackling rising car insurance premiums.

In Northern Ireland, premiums are 11% higher than in Great Britain. In rural areas, the difference can be up to 70%.

Nearly one in every five drivers who have recently passed their driving test have a crash of some sort during their first six months on the road.

Young motorists are twice as likely to cause a serious or fatal accident than older drivers are, according to the DoE.

Mr Attwood said: "Departmental officials have also been exploring with the local motor insurance industry representatives the potential availability in Northern Ireland of young driver 'Pay How You Drive' insurance products linked to in-car technology capable of monitoring driving performance."

Insurance providers in Great Britain have already piloted the scheme, which is unlikely to need legislation.

The scheme would be aimed at motorists who are under 25, and could mean lowering premiums due to evidence of good driving.

Copyright Press Association 2012

UKBC: Main (4.50)

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