April 26th, 2022.

The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) advises that compulsory third party motor insurance will not be extended to motor and motorcycle sports away from the public highway.

A parliamentary Private Members Bill, which sought to stop the implementation in the UK of the so-called ‘Vnuk’ judgement, has passed through Parliament and will soon become law.

The judgement by the European Court of Justice in 2014 was made after a Mr Damijan Vnuk was injured in an accident involving a trailer on private agricultural property in Slovenia. It sought to extend compulsory third party motor insurance to all ‘mechanically propelled vehicles used on land’. Although the judgement set out to correct a problem in overall insurance law, its unintended effects were to bring compulsory third party motor insurance into scope on all land, public or private on a wide range of additional vehicles, some as diverse as sit on lawn mowers, golf buggies and mechanically propelled child toys. It would have meant motorcycles and other motor vehicles used in competition would need to be third party insured. It quickly became apparent that the potential liabilities involved were uninsurable.

NMC member the Auto Cycle Union, working with industry representatives, the MCIA and four wheeled sporting bodies, recognised the threat and formed a coalition in late 2014 to pursue the European Union to amend insurance law to exclude motor and motorcycles sports. The UK Government quickly supported the coalition, which later included the FIM and the European motorcycle industry.

The EU has also taken steps to amend European law to grant Member States the choice to remove the unintended effects of Vnuk as they apply to motorised vehicles used for sport, but retained EU law in the UK meant that steps needed to be taken to amend UK law. The Private Members Bill, put forward by Peter Bone MP and supported by the Government, does this.

Further information is available at www.uknmc.org

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