Will fewer personal injury claims lead to lower insurance premiums?

Personal injury solicitors in some areas of Scotland have fewer claims to deal with now that safety cameras have been put in place on some of the country’s roads.

Data from the Scottish Government shows that the number of road accidents decreased by 63% in places where the cameras have been installed. Furthermore, the number of collisions that could have given rise to personal injury claims also dropped by 49%.

Speed and red light cameras were put up in priority places as part of the Scottish Safety Camera Programme, designed to encourage motorists to drive more carefully.

Stewart Maxwell, the West Scotland MSP, said the safety cameras have had a positive impact on reducing the number of accidents on Scottish roads. A fatal accident costs an average £1.85 million, whilst the cost of a serious accident is £205,000 and a minor one £20,000.

The Safety Camera Programme was allocated £4.6 million in the 2011-2012 financial year. If the cameras prevent just three fatal road accidents, they have more than paid for themselves. In addition to preventing accidents, the cameras save valuable police and NHS resources.

The scheme grew out of a 2000 UK wide pilot and now operates in the Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Lothian and Borders, North East, Northern, Strathclyde and Tayside areas.

As well as saving lives, this scheme could lead to car insurance premiums coming down north of the border. Insurers say they need to charge high premiums to make up for the huge rise in personal injury compensation claims, but if accidents north of the border are decreasing dramatically, maybe insurance premiums should do the same.

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