As well as trying to give EU police forces the power to fine British motorists even when they are no longer in the country, the EU has said that new cars will be fitted with black boxes starting from October next year. They are also trying to force motorists to have the black box devices fitted on their own cars, or face considerably higher insurance premiums.
Motoring groups have described the use of the devices in this way as inevitable, while insurers have said that having a black box will be opt out in future, rather than opt in, and that those that do opt out of having such a telematics system in their car will be allowed to do so, but will face much higher insurance premiums as a result.
Some young drivers have already opted to have a black box installed on their car as a means of lowering their insurance premiums. The telematics system tracks details regarding the car, where it is driven, and how well it is driven. As data is collected, and assuming that this data shows the driver to be careful and law abiding, their premiums may be reduced; a useful means of enjoying reduced premiums. However, every driver could soon effectively be forced to have the same system installed in their car, regardless of their views on privacy or driving skills.
The EU has demanded that all new cars manufactured from October of next year will have the devices fitted. Industry research has shown that, under current levels and regulations, approximately half of all cars, including both new and used cars, will have the devices fitted by the year 2020. Clearly, EU officials want to ensure that this number is significantly higher.
Insurers will be given the ability to track the number of miles covered, distance and regularity of journeys, and even how often a customer brakes, as well as the speeds at which they travel. They will then be able to use this information to determine how safe a driver their customer is, and use this information to govern the level of premiums charged.