TAXI drivers on the Fylde coast – who are at risk from ‘crash for cash’ fraud – are being offered hi-tech help.
An insurance company is offering a way of outwitting the fraudsters using in cab CCTV cameras.
BP Insurance Brokers, which has offices in St Annes, Cleveleys and Lancaster have come up with a policy which is linked to the tiny cameras which give a driver’s eye view of the past 48 hours.
The camera is positioned discretely behind the rear view mirror and has GPS satellite positioning plus shock sensors to record any mishaps.
Matthew Allen, from the company’s St Annes office, said: “These cameras have been used successfully in other areas.
“We’ve seen incidents where a lorry driver was facing losing his livelihood after being involved in a collision with a motorcycle and the biker made a claim.
“But the camera showed the biker was on the wrong side of the central white line.”
He said the forward facing device is password protected for security purposes and does not record what goes on in the rear of the cab as that would infringe data protection law.
He said: “We only brought it in about a month ago and we’ve had quite a lot of interest.
“Some people are not keen but drivers who have already had fraudulent claims are positive about it. I would say it was about 50-50 at the moment.
“In Blackpool we tend to get a lot of people wandering out into the road late at night in the centre.
“These cameras can be useful in protecting taxi drivers if anyone like that had an accident then woke up the next day and makes a claim against the driver.”
He said the cameras are provided free but there is a small installation cost.
The shock impact recorder can tell if the cab was hit from the front, sides or rear and together with the timer and the GPS can show exactly what went on in any accident to counter any mistaken or fraudulent claims
BP Insurance Brokers’ Managing Director Barry Pimlott is excited about this new service.
He said: “All too often I hear of responsible taxi drivers losing their no claims bonuses, business, and hence money, through being the victims of false claims.
“With camera taxi insurance, drivers finally have a clear record of their vehicles usage, and this can assist in the repudiation of fraudulent and exaggerated accusations against them.”