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New drivers 'to have black boxes'

31 Jan 2012

Black boxes like those in aeroplanes could be installed in the cars of those who have just passed their driving test, according to the DoE in Northern Ireland.

It is hoped the technology will help to reduce soaring insurance premiums and cut the number of accidents in the province.

Alex Attwood, DoE minister, met with insurers to discuss the new technology, which monitors the behaviour of motorists.

Insurance premiums in Northern Ireland are 11% more than in Great Britain, and the gap reached 70% in some rural locations.

Nearly 20% of newly qualified motorists have a collision of some sort within the first half-year of driving, and young drivers are two times as likely to have caused a serious or fatal crash than older drivers are, according to the DoE, with claims on young driver car insurance policies also on the rise.

The DoE minister 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."

It is not likely that the scheme will need legislation, and insurance firms in Great Britain have already trialled it.

Those drivers aged under 25 will be targeted by the scheme, and insurance premiums could be cut if there is proof of responsible driving.

If reckless behaviour is logged, insurance could be cancelled.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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