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Telematics set to prevent tailgating

A rapid rise in the number of fleet operators installing telematics is expected after the government announced on-the-spot fines for careless driving.

Drivers guilty of offences such as tailgating and middle-lane hogging will be handed fixed penalty notices of a £100 fine and three penalty points.

The new measures, which the government plans to bring into force in July this year, are expected to lead to increased interest in driving-style monitoring, a major feature of modern telematics systems.

Kjell Anderton, director of TrackCompare, said: “Driving-style monitoring provides information on a range of inappropriate behaviour, including the harsh braking and accelerating associated with tailgating.

“Constant jabbing at the brakes is often the result of driving too close to the vehicle in front or not looking far enough ahead. Although there are no telematics systems currently available that monitor the gap to the vehicle in front, the technology does exist and has been used for years in adaptive cruise control systems on high-end vehicles.

“All fleet operators are keen to promote safety, reduce insurance risk and stamp out such behaviour. Therefore, I’m positive the new on-the-spot fines and other measures will concentrate minds and lead to more businesses installing telematics over coming months.”

The changes, announced last week by road safety minister Stephen Hammond, will see existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – rise to £100 to bring them into line with penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties. For driving without insurance the fixed penalty will increase from £200 to £300.

Drivers will be able to appeal against any decision in court.

Most serious offences will continue to be sent to court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

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