Can this device help taxi drivers?


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smart witness cameraTaxi drivers often pay higher insurance premiums because their vehicles are on the road for longer and they cover high mileages, making them more likely to be involved in an accident.

This week, it was announced that taxi drivers may be set to reduce their insurance premiums by up to 20 per cent after installing ‘Smart Witness’ cameras (recognised by insurance group Markerstudy).

Markerstudy said that they regularly encountered exaggerated and false claims against their taxi customers which were previously difficult to defend because of a lack of evidence.

Now the cameras can protect drivers and enable a claim to be either defended or settled more quickly, getting the taxi driver back on the road working again as well as reducing their premium.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAleeds taxiAverage premiums vary from area to area and from private to public hire but the camera has been instrumental in reducing accident frequency and claims costs so we’re able to pass these savings on to our clients by way of cheaper premiums.

Smart Witness managing director Simon Marsh said: "The cost of installing our cameras is minimal considering the potential savings.

“They have helped many of our customers to cut their insurance premiums and reduce their accident rates which helps to avoid costly excess payouts.

“We know they help with problems drivers face from ‘cash for crash’ scams, in which fraudsters submit bogus injury and damage claims.

“But above all else, our customers are delighted the cameras provide peace of mind everyday, knowing they have evidence to hand in the unlikely event of a crash and I think that's valuable in itself.”

Taxi driver, Daren Lewis, 43, who owns four vehicles, said the devices - which record the road ahead – could have saved him a “fortune” if he had installed them years ago.

He hopes his current insurance bill will reduce from £1,400 per vehicle to £1,200. Across four vehicles this would be a total saving of £800 and more than 14 per cent.

He said: “I am expecting my premium to go down. The cameras provide indisputable evidence in the case of a crash.

“They give me peace of mind that if something happens, they are there to protect me.

“Driving is my livelihood, I need to keep costs down and ensure I have the maximum protection available against false claims such as 'cash for crash'.”

Mr Lewis installed the cameras just over a year ago and said he had been delighted with their performance.

“Just a few months ago, a pedestrian stepped out in front of me as I was driving around town,” he said.

“Luckily just their pride was hurt but it made me think about the everyday risks I face on the roads.

“I knew the camera was recording and it would have proved that the accident was not my fault.”

He added that he wished he could have installed the cameras about five years ago, before one of his drivers had two accidents in quick succession.

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