British motorsport under threat due to EU ruling
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As crazy as it sounds, an unprecedented piece of EU insurance legislation could be the end of motorsport in the UK
Overnight, the UK government issued a document for public consultation, giving an option to implement the European Court decision know as the 'Vnuk judgement'.
The Vnuk judgment imposes compulsory third party injury and damage insurance to all vehicles of any kind when used on any type of land. As well as affecting all motorsport vehicles, it could also affect electric bicycles, sit-on lawnmowers, golf buggies, mobility scooters and even uninsured vehicles parked on private property.
The Vnuk judgement stems from a case involving a Slovenian farm worker, Damijan Vnuk, who was hurt falling from a ladder, which was hit by a reversing tractor.
The UK insurance industry has already made it clear to government that third party risks for motorsport activities are uninsurable, primarily due to the number of potential vehicle damage claims that would arise - hence, if implemented, the Vnuk judgement has the potential to wipe out any and all motorsport activity.
Despite the UK voting to leave the EU earlier in the year, the Department of Transport has suggested temporary implementation of the EU legislation.
In a joint statement issued by local UK motorcycle associations, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) say:
“At a stroke, this would wipe out a successful industry and all the jobs that go with it, as well as eliminating a popular leisure pursuit for 1.9 million people, along with the boost that this gives to both local and national economies.
“If the government implements the Vnuk judgment un-amended, British motorcycle sport would end in the UK. Given that we are coming out of the EU, we are astonished that the Government is even considering an option to implement Vnuk. We call on Ministers to end uncertainty and put a stop to Vnuk in the UK.”
"Motorcycle competition is a popular UK Sport and generates much needed income in rural areas, with over 1.9 million spectators watching around 58,000 riders attend an average of over 4000 off-road and track events each year. These range from junior motocross to the British Superbikes, which would all end without the required insurance under the ECJ ruling."
MCIA, ACU and AMCA are calling on the government to exempt motor and motorcycle sport from any insurance law that could arise from any Vnuk judgement implementation, calling partial or temporary implementation of the legislation 'fatally damaging' to the auto industry, one that is a direct net contributor to the UK economy.
Public consultation of the Vnuk judgment closes on 31 March 2017.