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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who Knows About the New York I-PIRP?

On Monday, May 18, 2009 New York’s DMV commissioner issued a press release which announced a new Internet Point Insurance Reduction Program. For short this program is known as I-PIRP. The I-PIRP program was designed to provide an accident prevention courses that allowed for instruction during times convenient to New York drivers. This course is also known as a defensive driving course.

I-PIRP was developed with a specific goal in mind. The goal was to expand beyond the classroom-based course in order to educate more drivers and reduce the number of crashes that are caused by unsafe driving habits in New York. Ultimately, I-PIRP was intended to help achieve the DMV’s overall goal of making the roads a safer place for all New Yorkers.

The press release went on to explain, that drivers who completed the minimum 320 minute course would receive a 10 percent reduction on their insurance premiums and a reduction of up to 4 points off of their driving records.

In short, the press release announced the start of a new program that would save New Yorkers money, help them develop safer driving habits, and possibly help prevent them from having their driver’s license suspended. Sounds like a pretty good program to me. However, 15 months later, I have not heard many people mention this program. I began to wonder what the DMV was doing to promote this program.

As I searched the internet for information I found a brochure on the NYS DMV website. The brochure offered detail information about both classroom based and online courses. After reading the first paragraph it suddenly occurred to me why the I-PIRP program was not being promoted by the DMV. According to the brochure, the PIRP (and I-PIRP) courses are available through DMV approved private companies. The DMV refers to these private companies as "course sponsors."

The brochure was very informative and explained how the program works and the benefits associated with taking the course. The brochure also included a large frequently asked questions section which addressed a lot of information that could potentially be a point of confusion. However, no matter how helpful the brochure was, I still have to wonder who knows about I-PIRP. I found this information because I was looking for it.

Many New York drivers will hear about the 10% mandatory insurance reduction from their agent, but what about the people that do not know about the benefits of the program? How will they find I-PIRP? That is what I would like to know. Even though the program is run by course sponsors it would still benefit the New York driving community as a whole if the NYS DMV promoted this accident prevent course. Not to mention the drivers that could benefit from the course.

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