The need for safer roads is an important one in Northern Ireland- considering how a costly accident claim can raise car insurance rates into the stratosphere – and has led Environment Minister Alex Attwood to make several changes to motoring laws to help eliminate aggressive or unsafe driving.
There are several plans to be implemented, many of which are being focused on younger drivers. New drivers will now have to have an N plate on their vehicles to denote a new driver for the first two years of their being behind the wheel, while the minimum driving age is being changed and the 45 mph speed restriction is to be abolished.
The new proposals are being touted as one of the ways to not only reduce the number of injuries that occur in accidents but also to reduce the cost of insurance, especially since younger drivers are charged prices that can easily exceed the cost of purchasing their car in the first place. Reducing the number of accidents will lower insurers’ costs, which would hopefully lead to rate reductions in order to make insurance more affordable for younger motorists; with insurers within a hair’s breadth of actually turning a profit this year, dropped rates could be closer than thought.
Mr Attwood said that the new proposals will undoubtedly take some getting used to, especially in light of how radical the changes are that would be made. However, with the ultimate goals being better road safety and more affordable car insurance, the steps to be taken are assuredly the right ones.
The Assembly could implement the new measures as early as the end of this year, provided that the Stormont Executive gives the plans the green light.