Compulsory Vehicle Insurance on NZ roads

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Why are we killing so many Kiwis on our roads?

In the 1990's I worked as a Paramedic in England where I was able to witness other driving styles. Since coming home - I have spent the past 25 years considering why the UK road toll is so low compared to ours. It's a simple answer - Compulsory minimum of 3rd party vehicle insurance - which is a classic user pays system. 

In the UK it is illegal to drive uninsured. If caught you face Court action and the car is impounded until everything is legal ( or the car is sold and the money goes to the Towie and the state or the car is squashed)

I'll explain:

Police currently target the fatal five - speed , drunk/drugged drivers, intersections, seat belts, cell phone use. The fatal five are only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is driver behaviour -  New Zealanders are notoriously poor drivers, we have a driver behaviour problem in this country - tailgating, hogging the right hand lane, being so rude as to not allow others to pass. We are are a bad mannered bunch.

You see if poor driving behaviour was also targeted and drivers accumulate too many fines or road convictions drivers will not get insured or wouldn't get insurance very cheaply. Additionally - if you modify your car you will pay a higher insurance premium (there goes the loud Harley’s or the boy racer problem and is why you see very few hoons / boy racers in the UK).

In order to easily monitor illegal drivers the UK use Automated Number Plate Recognition  (ANPR) technology - This incredible piece of kit works by checking the number plate against NZ Police database and identifying drivers if they are disqualified, if the car is stolen, and if the vehicle is insured.  So ANPR fits in nicely within the current Police initiative where there is a emphasis to use technology to make policing more simple.

The UK have a national register where the insurance company registers the person and car and if they are insured. ANPR checks against this register, and if your not there, your car is impounded and you go to Court. 

This may seem draconian by the state, but it has a very real affect on driving behaviour, nobody wants to attract fines for poor driving behaviour or the fatal five. If you attract to much attention to yourself you won’t get insured and will eventually have no car.