Can cabs fitted with cameras catch fraudsters in the act?

Weekly whiplash news review: 7 days ended 12 Sept 2012:

Whiplash continues to be a problem out in the regions, though one enterprising Brit this week made waves with the development of a possible new way to catch fraudsters in the act.

50 year old Steve Gabbitas has had it with bogus whiplash injury claims. In fact, he’s decided to develop a camera designed to be fitted within vehicles in order to keep an eye out for ‘crash for cash’ road traffic accidents – he calls the system Crash Catcher and he’s hoping to work with cabbies in Nottinghamshire to provide evidence against fraudsters in court.

Not only do the cameras film outside vehicles fitted with the technology, the interiors of cabs can also be monitored in order to keep a record of drunken revellers, who tend to abuse cabbies altogether too much. The device was developed by Mr Gabbitas, who used to work as a claims broker for the industry, in conjunction with former claims investigator and CID Simon Bywater, his business partner

Both men grew tired with hearing of the number of fraudulent personal injury claims brought for whiplash and decided to put their heads together to do something about it. A noble, lofty goal, and it may go a long way towards reining in the whiplash fraud epidemic in places like Nottinghamshire, but there are other nearby regions that seem to be handling things rather nicely on their own, according to another news story this week.

East Lancashire, in fact, has actually seen around a 10 per cent drop in the number of whiplash claims year-on-year. However, despite this rather statistically significant drop, insurers that offer cover in the area have conspicuously not dropped their premium pricing to reflect that the region has become a safer place to drive.

However, there’s little indication that dropping accident figures will actually lead to a drop in premium pricing. It’s no secret that the roads have been becoming safer and safer over the years as evidenced by the number of road traffic accidents leading to instances of bodily injury, yet claims numbers are rocketing upward – which means something besides general road safety is driving this madness.

Insurance companies charge ridiculously high rates because they incur insane costs from the burgeoning number of personal injury compensation claims made against them. They have to recover their costs somehow, so they soak the average motorist by raising premium pricing across the board, and analysts say it will take more than a few cameras – or a paltry 10 per cent claims volume drop – to result in lowered premiums.

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