Australia is not the only country suffering from the transport authorities Revenue Raising Agenda, the British are also suffering at a dramatic rate.
The issue has gotten so out of hand that yesterday one of Britain’s largest car insurance organizations, Swinton Insurance, (with over two million customers), began ignoring demerit points for drivers who have received automated speeding tickets.
“Pointed drivers are no longer automatically penalized at Swinton as a result of the increase in the number of motorists now saddled with penalty points,” the company stated in a news release.
“The move reflects a change in attitude by the insurance industry as the estimated number of pointed motorists tops six million.”
This is a big move for Swinton as insurance companies in general have been earning nearly a billion dollars a year on rate rises from infringement notices.
British statistics show that on an annual basis, insurance company profit from camera tickets are around at £375 million (AUD $900 million) – this is in addition to the £135 million (AUD $323 million) motorists pay to the government for the actual fines – revenue raising? Of course not…
However, it only takes one company to take the move and the rest will eventually follow. British Road safety advocate Paul Smith, founder of Safe Speed, argues that this is an example of what he calls the “collateral damage” of speed camera policy.
“Clearly the Swinton announcement means that we are giving out fines and points to drivers at random, if we gave fines only to risky drivers then the risk would be clear in insurance companies’ crash statistics.” Smith said.
You might be thinking, just how much does insurance premiums increase for a British motorist with just a few speeding tickets?
After some research we found out that for an 18 year old motorist driving a 1.4-litre Renault Clio (less than 100 horsepower) in London, insurance cost would increase around £1250 (AUD $3000) each year after receiving three automated speed camera tickets.
Mr Smith from Road Safety (UK) argues that the once worthy demerit point system has been taken for a ride with the humongous number of speeding tickets issued in the UK.
“It just goes to prove that speed camera fines are pointless.”
This might be revolutionary in the UK but in Australia one company has already taken to ignoring demerit points, Just Car Insurance.