BIBA welcomes the Commission's proposals to better protect victims of motor vehicle accidents. Please find attached our full response. Our key concern regards scope - we have pasted elements of this section below:
While the EC has indicated that the proposal clarifies the concept of use and where compulsory insurance therefore applies, BIBA still has concerns over the application of this definition which we believe still lacks clarity.
After analysing the impact assessment it is clear to us that the majority of member states do not currently require compulsory insurance for use of a vehicle on private land and therefore the REFIT should reflect the practices and wishes of member states rather than simply accept rulings from the CJEU which have serious ramifications and are not reflective of the wishes of member states.
We are also concerned that there is no definition of ‘transport’ within the draft directive which will create uncertainty and increase cost, because clarification will only be provided when legal cases are dealt with by the CJEU on this issue. For example, different definitions of transport may include:
- take or carry (people or goods) from one place to another by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship.
- a system or means of conveying people or goods from place to place.
BIBA would contend that vehicles not designed for transport, like lawnmowers and motor racing vehicles on a circuit, are out of scope and it would be helpful if this could be specified in the Directive.
For the avoidance of doubt, BIBA’s view is that motorsport should be explicitly excluded.
The widening of the definition of a vehicle, and confirmation that MTPL insurance will apply to private land, will bring into scope ‘vehicles’ such as ride-on-lawnmowers, fairground rides, agricultural vehicles, museum vehicles, children’s toys, golf buggies, and fork lift trucks being operated in commercial properties. These should be excluded from the requirement to arrange MTPL insurance. For example ‘lawn-mowing’ is defined as ‘to cut down (grass) with a machine’. In no way does it refer to the transport of people or goods therefore should be excluded from the Directive.
One other special category that should be excluded from the Directive is mobility scooters. These are vital for the lifestyle of older and vulnerable citizens who will not understand registration and insurance requirements, and would be subject to paying a new premium or risk breaking the law and being convicted. Their only other alternative is to give up their mobility.
If the Motor Insurance Directive is not amended to remedy the situation there could be huge and costly issues that the UK will have to consider:
Registration – the UK Government may have to create a register of newly in-scope vehicles – forklift trucks, agricultural machinery, construction machinery, ride-on lawnmowers, mobility scooters etc.
Licensing – there would be a need to licence the users of newly in-scope vehicles.
Following the concerns mentioned in this document with fraud, uninsured driving and motorsport we strongly propose to the EC that rather than change the definition of use of a vehicle, instead the EC revert to the earlier solution suggested in their roadmap regarding definition on a vehicle. BIBA believe that this will overcome the problems raised and therefore suggest the following:
‘use of a vehicle' means any use of such vehicle, intended normally and at the time of the accident to be used in traffic, that is consistent with the normal function of the vehicle, irrespective of whether it is stationary or in motion and all motorsport is specifically excluded.
PLEASE SEE ATTACHMENT FOR FULL RESPONSE.
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