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Talking while driving could lead to insurance hikes

We’ve seen a number of states adopt stricter talking-while-driving laws lately. In my state, it has been classified as a Type A offense. That is, if an officer sees you on your phone, he can pull you over for just that. Previously, it was a secondary offense — where they could pull you over for a bum taillight and issue you a second ticket for talking on your phone. This doesn’t seem to deter many people. I see people with their handsets to their ears all the time. Clearly, the new legislation isn’t working. But what if insurance companies stepped in?

That’s what’s happening in the UK, as Allianz Insurance is raising premiums for people convicted of talking while driving. And we’re not talking a basic speeding ticket hike here. We’re talking the kind of hike that comes with a reckless driving conviction.

Neil Walker, Allianz Insurance motor manager, said: “Increasing premiums for drivers with mobile phone convictions reinforces the fact that this is a dangerous and needless act.

“If you are convicted of using a mobile phone while driving, not only do you face a fine and points on your licence, you will also suffer the added financial burden of increased motor insurance.”

It’s tough to disagree with that logic. If someone willfully does something that endangers other motorists — and themselves — it stands to reason that they should have to pay a higher premium. It might sound a bit extreme, but maybe it’s what will finally get people to stop talking while driving.