Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Future of Motoring?

PAY as you go :)

A backdoor way for government to track you? Norwich Union insure 1 in 7 UK Motorists. They have been trailing a system of insurance known a s pay as you go. this means that a 'black box' is installed in a vehicle and this communicates with a satellite. Communicating your location, time, and speed. This information shall be used to 'personalise' your insurance product. If you drive at times of day that have more accidents, you will pay more per mile than if you drive at 'safer' times of day. If you are speeding and are involved in an accident, presumably, your insurance would no longer be valid. Even if you were unaware of the speed at the moment of impact.

The government has also been investigating the option of taxing road users in this way too. For busy congested roads, you pay more tax per mile than clearer roads. This raises many questions however, for example,
1. How would you know what specifically you are having to pay per mile and when? the road you are on suddenly becomes congested (due to an accident nearby diverting traffic) will you suddenly find your tax fee going from 5p per mile to £1.50? Or you are driving down a road that routinely cost 5p per mile, but 2 accidents the previos week on that stretch puts the price of that road up to £1.00? How would you know?
2 Who else would be able to get access to the information?
3Do you feel comfortable with the idea of the Government or a Private Corporation knowing everywhere you drive?

The Big Brother connotations are obvious, but the financial implications are dire too. You will never know exactly how much you are being charged for driving on any particular stretch of road. Will the insurance fee go up if it is raining, or snowing or foggy? will the cheaper insurance during the day create congestion that the Government will charge more tax for?

So basically it is soon getting to the point where I will not drive anywhere any more. I think I shall do without my car and get the bus or walk.

I have nothing to hide, and to me, that is EXACTLY the point!

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