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Paperless Motoring

Paperless Motoring

Those old enough will remember that the introduction of personal computers heralded the dawn of the paperless society. As you well know by now that’s not quite how it has worked out. Thankfully, in the last few years, many organisations have decided that the internet is a good idea, hence our present ability to manage our lives online to a large extent. It’s great to be able to access all areas of bank accounts (only your own, of course) instantly, for example.

This is why over the last few years motorists have wondered why we still have those anachronistic tax discs disfiguring our windscreens when all the data about our cars are stored digitally and immediately available to any inquisitive policemen – and almost anybody else, or so it seems.

The good news is that someone at the Department for Transport has woken up to the fact that this isn’t such a bad idea. They see that the abolition of this ancient device is a good money saving wheeze down at the DVLA. We can already order and pay for the things online anyway, so once that’s done there should be no further need to prove it thanks to instant number plate recognition technology.

It doesn’t stop there. We already know that the paper section of our driving licences is being phased out in 2015. The same may happen at some point to the insurance certificates that we negotiate annually. Once it’s done and added to the burgeoning government file that is your life, the piece of paper serves no useful purpose.

So it’s all good then. Well, not entirely. Increasingly everybody we do business with wants us to do more and more for ourselves. One result of this is the rise of residents’ groups handling their own speed camera duties. This is one of the things that we pay the police for. Sadly there is now so few of them and those that are left have to spend all their time counting the revenue from safety awareness courses. It’s understandable that people would want to protect their village but it smacks rather of setting neighbour against neighbour. Now councils want us to join in by grassing up any potholes we find – saves them having to do routine inspections.

One of the plus points of paper motoring documents is that we can store them in a file and keep tabs on dates and costs. Without them we have no control and doesn’t even take into account the dilemma for those who can’t or don’t want to access the internet. On the other hand, if money is being saved on the costs of documentation surely we will all benefit from that with lower premiums and road tax costs when the saving is passed on? No.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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