When Slovenian farmer Damijan Vnuk was knocked off a ladder by a tractor which reversed into it, he took the tractor's insurer to court. But because the vehicle was on private land, it wasn't subject to compulsory insurance. And no insurance meant no compensation for Vnuk.

The tractor was covered 'as a means of transport', but it wasn't covered for the damage caused when it was 'in use'. Uncertain of the differences, the case was taken up by the European court. Should the tractor have been covered by third party insurance? The European court felt that it should. 

This opened up a whole can of worms about what the 'use of motor vehicles' actually means. The European court feels that compulsory cover for vehicles 'in use' shouldn't be limited to those which are 'in traffic'. Insurance, it believes, should be compulsory for all vehicles 'in use', whether that be on or off-road, and in private or public spaces. The current UK legislation sees it very differently.

This all happened in 2014. Since then, the UK government and those around Europe have been in talks. Should they make the definition of 'vehicle in use' clearer? Should the UK change its own policies to be in-line with those of the European court? What implications would that have? 

In the UK, the Road Traffic Act 1988 requires that motorised vehicles be insured on roads and in other public spaces. But if the legislation is changed to be in-line with the European court's, this could change. The law might then require all vehicles to have insurance, including those on private land. 

In motorsports, there is currently no cover required for third party liability between racing drivers. And due to the number of accidents, the insurance industry has deemed this type of cover uninsurable. The premiums would just be far too high. 

So what to do? The government issued a document on the 20th December for public consultation. It includes the option to ignore the European court's ruling and the option of going along with it. 

MCIA's head, Steve Kenward, has called that the government puts a stop to the Vnuk ruling as he claims it would wipe out motorsports in Great Britain. “ Given that we are coming out of the EU,” he said, “we are astonished that the Government is even considering an option to implement Vnuk”. 

The implementation of the Vnuk judgement, Kenward argues, would kill motorsports in one fell swoop. It would damage the industry too, which employs over 50,000 people and generates a total of £11 billion each year. 

The public consultation is due to close on March 31st. If third party insurance becomes compulsory but vehicles in motorsports can't get it, it could mean the end of motorsports in Great Britain.

What do you make of all this? Let us know at 


23/12/16 - all my racer friends need to read this

23/12/16 - Surely with breXit we don't need to give a fk what euro laws have to say ? .but reading it its bad news

23/12/16 - Ball sh*t

23/12/16 - If this is true, how does racing continue in Europe?

23/12/16 - Can't be true , isn't it like an April Fools joke !!!

23/12/16 - It's a farce, the chap was at work, why hasn't it been claimed on employer liability insurance?

Most teams will be able to extend their public liability insurance without much issue, the issue is going to be at the grass-roots of motorsport where the additional cost could be prohibitive - however membership of a club or organisation might be able to give cover. When I used to sail I did have 3rd party liability insurance on the boat but being part of the sailing club I was a member of gave me a discount (a smaller dinghy and it would be covered automatically)

23/12/16 - It won't happen.. Everyone has jumped on the social media bandwagon..

Given what thus all came from its hard to believe a UK government can let things happen.. And if this happens in the UK we only have our weak unidirectional government to blame..

From what I last heard it was sorted.

Don't forget. If this happens it will affect every vehicle as its a third part insurance issue.. So how big a net does that cast?.. Every thing down to lawnmowers and electric bikes.. See how difficult it would be to regulate.... Consider how many are running with no insurance at the moment...

This half government needs a good kicking... All in it for what they can get from it with no regard for the folk who live on this tiny island..

23/12/16 - And this is why we need to leave Europe

23/12/16 - Pretty much like the ban on all custom and non-manufacturer parts that was thought up by the nice people in Europe, pretty much impossible to enforce without destroying industries and livelihoods along the way. Can't see it happening, pretty much like the parts ban.

23/12/16 - Invoke article 50 now now now!

24/12/16 - Scaremongering nonsense.

24/12/16 - And people wonder why we voted for Brexit. The EU is an ass. FFS

24/12/16 - The corrupt EU can get stuffed once and for all !!!!.

24/12/16 - We need yo get out of the EU.

24/12/16 - Bernie won't stand for it

24/12/16 - It's scaremongering as it's at consultation stage only. It won't happen but it keeps a few budget journo's in a job.

24/12/16 - 17.5 million people voted leave....GET ON WITH IT!!!!

          24/12/16 - No never. It would destroy everything

          24/12/16 - lucky for us there is too much money in motor sport in our country and I don't think or hope that the powers that be would ever let this happen.

24/12/16 - What absolute tosh- this story has been doing the rounds for a while now, and those who do race have to sign an agreement with their entry to agree to racing in a dangerous sport & the clubs have insurance to cover damages sustained. Also any spectators also enter into an agreement when they purchase their entry tickets.

Also does anyone really believe the major car manufacturers and motorcycle producers would allow this to come into effect and damage their industry???? I don't think so.

F1 alone is worth billions each year to manufacturers and sponsors.

24/12/16 - Oh this b*ll*cks again. Read this in 2012

24/12/16 - I think its a load of b*ll*cks designed by somebody somewhere to distract us from " something " but what thats the question.....

24/12/16 - Cobblers....

24/12/16 - If this is true, would it kill motorsport all over europe, with this being a eu law.

24/12/16 - Utter b*ll*cks

24/12/16 - Rubish

25/12/16 - This is exactly the reason I voted out of the eu and its nonsense.

25/12/16 - Well done for trying to stir up anti EU feelings you pr*cks. If this is true then why are there still so many bike races in EU countries?

Stick to relevant stories and try and stay away from politics for clickbait, leave it to that sh*trag the daily mail.

25/12/16 - F*ck off eu we are out & don't give a f*ck about you say. Ahaha

25/12/16 - The answer is simple - Ignore the ruling and bring all of Europe's motorsport to the UK to compete here

25/12/16 - Please tell me it's all mistake

25/12/16 - Nobody forces you to attend a Motor Sports event, if you are concerned about being injured then best you stay away. You WILL die somehow, sometime, might as well go whilst you are enjoying yourself! !

25/12/16 - Then we re-establish where it all began. Illegal road racing

25/12/16 - Maybe a solution would be to ask each rider to take out their own insurance to cover a 3rd party harming them. Such as personal accident cover in case somebody else's actions cause you harm. Let's not start putting blame culture into racing.

25/12/16 - Loada bollox. No problem to get off road insurance, the insurance robbers will love it, time to cash in! I thought we were leaving the Eu anyway so what a European Court shouldn't matter should it!!

25/12/16 - Scaremongering b*llsh*t

25/12/16 - It's scare mongering.

Posted by Daisy Cordell
for Wemoto News on 23 December 2016 in Racing



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