Car insurers start penalising speed awareness courses



  • Jeez - you'd be better off in a bumper car ! image

    I think I'm sticking to bikes. Far cheaper and so much harder to speed on a bike !

  • it's been years now since I've had a bump, but that's where the "Crash" bit came from. Three of them were in 4 weeks, including getting the courtesy car rear-ended. No matter how self-critical I am, I really can't accept responsibility for any of those accidents, even the ones when I was moving!

    They've ruined my best local 'speeding on a bike' road by raising the limit to 40 image

    RW, 'brainless application' sums it up nicely, methinks; I'd have no qualms about getting nicked by a proper copper driving behind me; I'd feel it was my own fault for not looking in my mirror frequently enough! Speed cameras are just taxes on tourists, because they don't know where to brakeimage

  • What kills is innaprpriate use of speed and overtaking in dangerous places.

    70mph on a dry motorway is safe. 20mph on a snowy B road in a 60mph limit can be fatal at certain times. It's a case of sticking to speed limits and using the speed appropriately.

  • Driver training or lack of it,

    Most people had 10 or 20 driving lessons when they were 17-20, took a very basic test and passed, now years later the cars they are driving are faster, more powerful with gadgets to help with everything but the driver is still the same person with little or no training, eysight and reaction has deteriated.

    Through my job i have had equal to 3 month driver training which according to the Institute of advance motorist put me in the top 2% in the country, biggest thing i learnt is to know your limits, not the cars.

    Speed is as a result of over confidence, same as agression.

    We all have sworn at the bloke doing 80 in the rain in the outside lane and then at the crawler doing 20 on the inside lane.

    A stricter initial test and re-testing would be a better way to reduce accidents, restricitng cars...why do you need a car capable of 160mph or with a 4.5L engine when the limit is 70.

  • To some extent that ^ and to some extent this image

  • Now theres a plan Crashie.

  • Stopping speeding is simple, make everyone have a satellite controlled speed restrictor in their car, so you can't go beyond the roads speed limit. Anyone found with an unrestricted car - instant life time ban, no remission.

    But that wouldn't make any money from speeding fines and sending people on courses.

  • Interesting that nobody picked up on my comment about how not every one who goes on a drivers awareness course has been caught speeding.

    I was caught speeding at 36 in a 30 zone,on a road that I was unfamiliar with and honestly thought was a 40 zone.  I was wrong, fair enough,  I did the course.

    On the course were people who had not been caught breaking the law in any way.  There is a local employer who has seen evidence that when he sends all of his staff that drive on company business onto these courses, that they tend to have less accidents so his company insurance premiums are lower.  He wouldn't be paying for these courses if he didn't think that they worked.

    There were also people who had been caught using their mobiles, jumping red lights and eating behind the wheel.  Drivers Awareness Courses are there to raise awareness of how to drive safely - not just to get people to stop speeding.

  • Stopping speeding is really easy, all you need to do is not press so hard on the accelerator
  • Stopping speeding is really easy, all you need is to be over 40 & more concerned about fuel economy image

  • popsider wrote (see)

    I thought that insurers were doing this because they had statistics that showed people who had been on a speed awareness course were a higher risk than those who hadn't   been caught speeding.    

    That's how insurance works - if you are in a high risk group you pay more - what is the problem ?   It's fairer than say charging the young more - you can't choose not to be 18 but you can choose not to break the speed limit in the first place.    Personally I'm all for charging people who drive like idiots more.

    I would be interested to know whther statistics do actually show that.

    Speed cameras and speed traps catch a very small percentage of drivers. Is what is happening, is that you are more likely to be caught if you drive a lot? This would be similar to the idea that women are not actually better drivers, the important factor seems to be that women drive less distance than men.

    Given that insurance coys already factor in mileage in policy quotes, are they managing to double dip?

  • It also depends what roads you drive on bos.  There are few cameras on motorways, which is where I do most of my driving.

    but I also drive to a lot of places I've never been to before, so it is easy for me to get caught out when I am trying to navigate and read road signs.  Sometimes you can't concentrate on everything at once.

  • SCaz, i think that is right. I suspect that a lot of people drive in a very similar manner, probably a big bell curve there. If you are lucky enough not to be in a position where you are on unfamiliar roads, that doesnt mean you are necessarily safer.

  • But if you are driving in unfamiliar surroundings shouldn't you be taking even more care ?
  • I knew you would say that Dave.  Maybe you think you are taking more care - trying not to cause a hazard by keeping up with the surrounding traffic.

  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    But if you are driving in unfamiliar surroundings shouldn't you be taking even more care ?

    true, but if one driver is never tested by being in unfamilir surroundings, then the idea that the speed awareness courses capture riskier drivers might fall down.So there may not be a real justification to load the premium.


  • I drive around 25 k miles a year. Usually in unfamiliar surroundings. Not taking take is purely poor driving

    And in 30 plus years of driving I have never had any points and only one insurance claim against me ( and that happened in a car park, when I wa parking )
  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    I drive around 25 k miles a year. Usually in unfamiliar surroundings. Not taking take is purely poor driving

    And in 30 plus years of driving I have never had any points and only one insurance claim against me ( and that happened in a car park, when I wa parking )

    that does not tell us whether you have never speeded. It does tell us you have not bee caught.

    The question is not whether it is possible for one driver to drive under the speed limits. The question seems to revolve around whether speed awareness courses are popluated by riskier drivers, and therefore insurance companies are justified in charging more.

    If there is a large number of drivers who drive the same way. And there is a small number of observations of speeding, then the system may not be identifying riskier drivers. It may be taking a riandom sample of (roughly) equally risky drivers. And those who drive more may be more likely to be captured.

  • It may possibly demonstrate that whilst driving I am fully aware of my surroundings and therefore notice speed cameras before the flash ?
  • That misses the point. This isnt about you. Insurance companies do not take the experience of one driver and then extrapolate that to the wider population. Insurance is about pooling risk. So the behaviour of the wider population is what is relevent.

  • I do 25k a year and up until this year I had never got caught doing anything wrong.  I know my driving has got worse since the mileage increased.  I spend more time driving when tired or in a hurry.

    But I am also much more confident in new places than most of my friends.

  • don't speed ... simples

  • Speed Saves lives!

    That why emergency services drive fast to get you to hospital, attend a scene etc


    People doing their makeup or generally not paying attention kills....

    They shouldnt penalise you for going on a speed awareness course.

  • Aren't they just penalising people for being caught speeding rather than going on the speed awareness course ? Or are they just penalising those who go on the course and not the ones who take the points (which would be a bit odd) ?

    Bos makes a fair point about higher mileage drivers - I don't know whether they've controlled for mileage in making their claim that people who have been on the course have a higher future claim rate than those who haven't.   You'd think there would have been some research on whether these courses do lower the rate of reoffending - if they don't then they are pointless. 

  • I'm seem to recall hearing that there is real benefit in offering the courses because it DOES reduce the rate or re-offending.... otherwise, there would be little point in offering the courses, and all speeders would simply be fined/ receive points and be done with it.

    In which case you'd think, from the general population of speeders, those who had attended the course were a lower insurance risk than other speeders, and potentially a lower risk than the rest of the driving population. It is, afterall, quite a good general driver-awareness course, which most drivers would probably benefit from.

    I tend to think this is simply a case insurance companies finding an excuse to put up premiums, rather than any real risk-based research.


  • I also meant to add... the speed awareness course is only offered as an alternative to points where it is a relatively minor speeding misdemeanor, where presumably it's likely to have some beneficial effect.

    It's not an option for serious speeding offences.

  • It stopped me from offending the next day.  I was driving a van for the first time the day after my course.  If I hadn't been on the course then I wouldn't have realised that the speed limits have changed for vans since I took my test last century.  I was immediatly able to apply the new knowledge I had gained.

    That is the sort of situation where the courses are really useful.

  • The minimum speed for a van is still fifty isn't it?
  • Only when over loaded, and when eating pies while on your mobile and listening to your mate make strange noises over the pictures in the Sun, Mr. P.

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