Car insurance. Speed cameras get even smarter

Filed under: General, Car insurance, Insurance — Administrator at 11:00 am on Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Author: Emma Mayo

Speed cameras are already the bane of the driver’s existence. There’s a lot of dispute as to whether they do help save lives, but one thing’s for sure, the Government is making a lot of money out of our collective inability to keep within the speed limits.

If you thought it was bad before, a new speed camera is being tested at the moment that could take the concept of being watched on the roads many steps ahead of its current format.

The new device, manufactured in South Africa, is a digital red light camera and speed camera that can be used both in mobile speed traps and fixed-camera setups. The strength of the device lies in its ability to perform more than one task – meaning double trouble for motorists. Not only can it take up to 100,000 digital images, it can also monitor three lanes of traffic at once. And it can be used as a mobile hand-held camera by police during the day shift, and then stored in stationary housing to continue its job throughout the night. It can also be controlled remotely so the camera can focus and zoom in as required.

Every picture that’s taken is accompanied by GPS time, date and location information, all thanks to WiFi and GSM systems, then the information can be downloaded to a remote base using mobile phone technology. Made by Truvelo, the ‘D-Cam’ will be ready to go on Britain’s roads just one year after it’s approved by the Home Office, which is set to happen imminently. It’s already proved popular in South Africa and Brazil.

At £30,000, the system isn’t cheap, but if you take into account the cost of a speeding fine - £60 – and then multiply that by 100,000 (the amount of pictures the camera can store) and that’s a significant profit margin for the authorities! Truvelo make around 20% of the speed cameras currently on British roads, they can only take 700 film pictures, so they need reloading on a regular basis – so the difference between the two technologies is quite significant.

So what does it mean for motorists? It means there’s even more chance of getting caught speeding. And if you receive a speeding fine, that will affect your car insurance premiums. With a quarter of British households having at least one speeding fine, which gives you three points on your driving licence, it’s a big issue, and it’s giving the car insurers an opportunity to cash in.

Recent AA research found that a driver with a speeding offence could expect to pay an average of 20% more on car insurance. Even if your record was as clean as a whistle before, you will be penalised. Don’t be tempted to withhold the information from an insurer either, as if you come to make a claim and the information is discovered, your policy will be declared null and void.

So if you get caught speeding, and the chances of that are likely to increase once the D-Cam is introduced, what can you do to keep your car insurance at an affordable level? Be extra sure to shop around. Never blindly accept a renewal from your insurer without checking out the competition, and get as many quotes as you can to make sure you’re not paying more than necessary. Many drivers pay more than they should because they fail to get a few quotes – and if you have points on your licence for speeding, it’s more important than ever to keep on top of things. Go online for the cheapest quotes, and be sure to get as many quotes as you can!

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