Compulsory insurance could help reduce the road toll by keeping inexperienced drivers out of powerful cars, says NZ Motoring Writers’ Guild president Jacqui Madelin.
“At present any driver can buy any car they can afford – regardless of power,” Madelin says. “That means novice drivers can get behind the wheel of a performance car they may not have the experience to control.”
Overseas experience has shown that compulsory third party insurance effectively prices most novice drivers out of the performance market.
“They have to cut their teeth on more sensible fare,” Madelin says, “which means they make their mistakes at slower speeds.”
“It also reduces the cost of crashes to innocent parties. At present we effectively self-insure to offset the risk an uninsured driver will hit our own car. It puzzles visiting English motorists, who are used to a compulsory third party insurance environment, and can’t understand why we’d take the risk.”
The immediate benefit of compulsory insurance would be greater peace of mind for all motorists, whether strapped for cash and unable to afford another car, or well-heeled and driving an automotive investment.
“Either way you’d be covered for the worst that could happen, regardless of who’s at fault,” Madelin said.
However she fears such a move would not be popular with some members of the public or politicians until the positive side effect – fewer crashes caused by inexperienced young drivers in powerful cars – showed up.
For further information contact:
Motoring Writers’ Guild president
0274 751 521
Motoring Writers’ Guild vice president
027 686 3711