Tougher legislation being proposed in the UK by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to tighten up the rules governing younger drivers may present some beneficial ideas for the South African regulators and insurance industry.
This is according to Lisa Teixeira at CIB Insurance Administrators (CIB), who says new proposals in the UK include, among others, a minimum 12-month learning period before a test can be taken, as well as a ban on non-family passengers being carried by novice drivers and a restriction on night driving for the first six months. “These proposals are based on the fact that younger drivers tend to have more accidents on the roads, so by implementing a ban on night time driving and the carrying of certain passengers, these people can gain more experience before they start driving friends around late in the evening.”
She also notes that the proposed lower blood/alcohol limit for novice drivers for two years after passing a test, which effectively means they are not allowed a single alcoholic drink before driving, could also work well in South Africa. “There is often a misperception among drivers about how many drinks they are allowed before getting behind the wheel. This may especially be true among young drivers who often begin drinking alcohol around the same time as they start learning to drive.”
Statistics published by Arrive Alive for the 2009 year found that 49% of fatalities in road traffic accidents involved people between the ages of 20 and 39.
“By removing their ability to have any alcohol at all, younger drivers will firstly have a very clear definition of their alcohol allowance – which is none – while driving. Secondly, they will also be given an opportunity to get used to driving and socialising without the need for alcohol. It is this kind of initiative that may finally start changing people’s perceptions and habits in South Africa.
“If we can really transform the way people think about drinking and driving in South Africa then we may also begin to see a major improvement in the number of accidents on our roads, which could eventually translate into cheaper car insurance premiums,” concludes Teixeira.
About CIB Insurance Administrators
CIB is an independent short-term insurance administrator providing brokers throughout South Africa with personal, commercial, agricultural, engineering, building and hospitality insurance solutions for their clients. The company’s aim is to be one of South Africa’s leading short term providers and “the” preferred choice for all professional brokers by constantly delivering world-class products and service and keeping abreast of national and global trends. Visit www.cib.co.za for more information.