Government targets uninsured drivers

* Response to car insurance report * Confirms it will tackle uninsured drivers * Young drivers to get special attention...

Government targets uninsured drivers

The Government will target uninsured drivers and improve skills among the young as it attempts to cut soaring insurance costs.

Responding to the Transport Select Committees report on the Cost of Motor Insurance, the Department for Transport (DfT) pledged to work with the motor industry to help slash premiums.

The DfT is currently looking at ways to give insurance firms access to the DVLA driver record database, which will allow them to check details given by drivers applying for cover. This should help cut fraud and ensure providers make better-informed decisions on who to insure and how much to charge.

The insurance industry is contributing 1million to the cost of the scheme, which should be in place by 2014.

DfT officials also revealed that the Government will review the fixed penalty levels for offences including driving without insurance.

Young drivers
The DfT will also address the number of crashes and insurance claims involving young drivers. Part of this will include promoting the use of telematic, or black box, insurance systems.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists' director of policy and research, Neil Greig, welcomed the move: More must be done to help young drivers stay safe and obtain affordable insurance.

As a first step, insurers must reduce the cost of learning to drive in the family car. Learner drivers are as safe as any other group on the road the risks only rise when solo driving begins.

However, he warned against a simple increase in the use of black box technology, saying: Black box technology has a role to play, but can restrict freedom to gain experience on certain roads and at certain times of the day. In most cases the detailed data on driving style and skill deficits recorded by them goes unused. The best role for black boxes is to highlight where new drivers need extra help.

Tom Webster