Matt Rodda, Labour's MP for Reading East, represented the Shadow Transport team in a debate on car insurance in Westminster Hall.
The debate was prompted by an online petition and Matt, deputising for fellow Shadow Transport Department colleague Karl Turner MP, addressed key concerns on the impact of burdensome car insurance premiums in relation to younger drivers' income. The petition proposed that cars should be insured rather than individual drivers having to buy their car insurance. Whilst the proposal may seem to have benefits, sadly research has shown that in some instances where similar systems apply, the insurance costs can go up and an age restriction may be used – which will also penalise younger drivers.
Matt used the debate as an opportunity to challenge the Government for not investing enough on road safety, given the rise in deaths and serious injuries on our road network in recent years. The Government had previously made a commitment to publish a Green Paper on road safety, however this has still not been forthcoming.
“In March 2013 the Department for Transport released a press release that stated: 'Government to overhaul young driver rules in bid to improve safety and cut insurance costs.' It also said: 'Green paper on improving the safety and reducing risks to young drivers launched.' It is now 2018—five years later—and we are still waiting to see that Green Paper. Despite calls from road safety campaigners and the insurance industry, the Government no longer appear to be addressing the issue. As far as I am aware, there is no sign of a Green Paper on young drivers at the moment, although I would be very grateful if the Minister could update us. If the Government are serious about doing something to address the core issues affecting the cost of car insurance for young people, they would bring forward this work. I ask the Minister when he is thinking of doing that. If he is not considering doing so, why not?”
Susan Jones, Labour MP for Clwyd South and who brought the debate before House concluded:
“My honourable Friend the Member for Reading East (Matt Rodda) mentioned a Green Paper, which I would welcome. The Minister has not exactly ruled it out and I hope that that might be considered in future. In today’s debate we have been able to look at car insurance and the critical issue of road safety in the round. I wholeheartedly thank again the creator of the petition and all the signatories who made that possible for us.”