7/17/2005UK: Teen Drivers Pushed Into Accepting Black Box Spy
Officials in Ireland, England consider mandating GPS tracking for drivers aged 18-25.
Teen drivers in the UK will pay as much as 40 percent more for their automobile insurance if they do not accept a black box device that will track their movements and speed. Drivers aged 18-25 that do accept the GPS-enabled device will receive a £400 discount on their premium as long as they do not exceed the speed limit for more than eleven seconds. After three minor indiscretions, they will lose their discount. The device beeps to alert the driver when the vehicle is exceeding the limit.
A company called Celtrak has developed the technology and is working with an insurance company to begin a test run with 500 volunteers in England next month. Already 2,000 young drivers have signed up for the program through AXA Insurance in Ireland, where officials are considering mandating the device for all beginning drivers.
Oliver Heaney, business development manager for Cel-trak, said that some drivers were initially wary about having "big brother" on board, checking their speed. "But we make clear that this is not a stick to beat drivers with but a tool to help them be safer," he said. "If you monitor something it behaves itself. It's like when a teacher walks out of the classroom -- the kids go mad."Source: Speed device will act as cost 'carrot' to young drivers (London Times (UK), 7/16/2005)
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