Demerit Points – How to achieve a lot more awareness
So there’s an article here that states the the demerit point system does work and I would like to give my version of what I saw and know having worked in the traffic services for close on twenty years in the UK.
The Joe Citizen and press are quick to argue that there should be more exposure. Traffic services bring in schools for training sessions. Kids go amok with vehicles, gadgets and the constables. What happens ten years later? As cigarette smoking and the banning thereof becomes prevalent from one country to the next, as we display images of lung disease on the packaging we should be a bit more vulgar in the display of road carnage. A person dying of lung disease and the portrayal of this is shocking but we continue to smoke. Road carnage and the loss of life is hopefully quick and painless. This is rarely so.
Demerit Points – why insurance companies should start becoming a lot more proactive.
Would traffic services be allowed to show potential drivers what a real head on collision looks like, what it must feel like for a first time constable to be told to assist in the removal of that headless body. That body crushed beyond recognition. The innocent victim, the son or daughter of loving parents.
No, it’s time for other players to come on to the field. Whilst insurance companies are quick to offer wonderful incentives to great drivers they should start looking hard and fast at deterrents. A no accident bonus scheme doesn’t help a dead or maimed victim. Insurance companies have always penalised bad drivers but they should now encourage everyone to start reporting dangerous driving practices through dash-cam footage. A demerit system can only work if there is insurance on the vehicle and the vehicle is roadworthy. The insurance companies should be ensuring that the vehicle is roadworthy by having annual checks or more. What good is it that a driver wittingly takes his unroadworthy car onto the road and causes an accident and only after the fact does the claim get repudiated. Taking candy from a baby.
Why the demerit points system needs assistance?
Insurance companies should be taking more responsibility, not just palming off this one holy mess-up on to the authorities. The traffic services get the blame over and over again for our dangerous driving practices but it’s time they started being proactive. (including drivers).
- All vehicles must carry insurance as in most first world countries.
- Start doing proper governance – get your local traffic services to start training kids already, bicycle riders and pedestrians play a huge role in every country’s death toll.
- Potential drivers (pre-learner) and learner drivers get first hand experience of the function of paramedics and other emergency services.
- Drivers get exposed to what happens on the real road when iced up, when cars are unroadworthy and yes, gory but necessary – real road accidents and their victims.
- Insurance companies start being proactive instead of shooting the gun from the bullet.
Yes, the demerit system is really a great tool, in the right hands. No the insurance companies do not do enough. Do you know if you drive under the influence and you get killed in an accident your insurance may not pay out. Your wife is home with your two kids, they loved you but you didn’t love them enough to stay responsible.
Demerit points does not cut down imbecilic driving.
I get angry when I write this only because traffic services get a bad rap when things go wrong. We cannot control what a person does once they have had a few drinks or drive like thugs – we can certainly act as a deterrent but you know what, often it is too late. Third world countries do not (always) have the budget or the technology at their disposal. Insurance companies do.