British motorsports going off track
The British motorsports industry is very important. It is a very popular spectator and participant activity and adds significantly to the UK economy; a point made recently by the UKIP sport spokesman Patrick O'Flynn MEP.
However, the implications of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in the case of Vnuk reach far beyond the motorsports industry alone. In a recent statement from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), the Amateur Motor Cycle Association (AMCA) and the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), they call on the government to exempt motor and motorcycle sport from any changes to insurance law which arise from the ECJ judgment.
This is a very short sighted position to take and completely misses the point that the problem is far greater than the motorsports lobby would have you believe. Uninsured drivers kill and injure thousands of people every year despite having no legal right to be on the road. So far in 2016, police have seized over 134,000 vehicles for driving without motor insurance on UK roads.
If the UK Government implemented the Vnuk judgment by extending compulsory insurance requirements to all mechanically propelled vehicles, particularly those used on private land, it would not only be unenforceable but would also create the risk of undoing all of the achievements of the last decade which have seen the level of uninsured driving in the UK reduce by 50%. It would certainly not be in the best interest of motorists or the wider public.
MIB welcomes the recent Government consultation and supports their preferred option. The problems created by the European Court judgment in Vnuk go far beyond the interests of the motor sport community, however important they might be.
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Ashton West OBE
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