Brian Yeardley saves £30,000 insurance on incident cameras 30 October 2013

Brian Yeardley Continental reports annual insurance premiums reduced by more than £25,900 since spending just £7,000 installing Smart Witness incident cameras in May this year.

The Wakefield, West Yorkshire-based haulier – which runs 43 trucks and eight company cars, all now equipped with the recording cameras – also says that accident rates have halved within the first six months of installation.

Managing director Kevin Hopper says he decided to install the cameras after becoming increasingly concerned about cash for crash scams. He was also concerned about conflicting accident reports.

"I wish I could have installed Smart Witness 20 years ago. Year-on-year our insurance bill has gone up and up, but now it has finally gone down," comments Hopper.

"I would have been happy if the bill had gone down by £5,000 but I never expected it would reduce by £25,900. I believe a significant amount of this reduction is down to the Smart Witness cameras we have installed in all of our company vehicles," he adds.

Hopper also makes the point that each accident costs at least £1,300 in excess, "so the cameras have saved us a lot of money". And he adds that the equipment has also deterred immigrants from targeting his fleet to travel illegally into the UK from Europe.

"Last year, we did over 5,000 crossing both ways across the English Channel and in 2012 we had a total of five immigrants found in our trailers.. It's not a lot, but we do take serious measures to ensure our vehicles are protected and sealed, and our drivers are fully trained and aware of the immigrant problems in Calais," continues Hopper.

"Since fitting Smart Witness, and fitting the stickers to the trucks and on the rear doors of our trailers where the immigrants normally make entry, we have not had any incidents or theft and I do apportion a lot of this down to Smart Witness."

And he adds: "We've had no issue with any of the equipment at all since we installed it... Our drivers are often away for up to eight weeks at a time and it gives me a peace of mind knowing that, when they are parked up, the cameras are there to help protect them."

Under rules introduced in 2001, the Home Office can impose a fine upon drivers of up to £2,000 for each person found travelling illegally to the UK inside their vehicles.

A 2009 Border Agency report said thousands of illegal immigrants were discovered in searches in Calais. A total of 4,241 stowaways were found in 2006/07 and 8,058 in 2008/09.

Brian Tinham

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