How a rural accident can mean the end of motorcycle racing in Europe

CE91 12 News, Europe
CE91 25 News, Europe

Great panic has gripped the European motorcycle publications which more or less say that the end of motorcycle racing and every motor sports in Europe has come.

These gloomy predictions were based on the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (also known as the European Court of Justice) based in Luxembourg, in the case of Vnuk v. Triglav, Case C-162/13.

The whole issue is as follows: Slovenian Damijan Vnuk was a farm worker, where he was injured when a reversing tractor threw him off the stairs where he was climbing for some work.

Mr Vnuk sued the insurance company that covered the tractor, seeking compensation. At first instance, the court denied that he was entitled to compensation, but at a later stage, the Slovenian Supreme Court overturned that decision and sent the case to the European Court of Justice, seeking its opinion.

But how do we get the accident on a farm to threaten the track races? At the heart of the problem is the fact that Mr Vnuk was injured in private.

CEB13 10 News, Europe

Is there a European Motor Insurance Directive (Directive 2009/103 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009) on motor third party liability insurance and the control of the liability for this liability .

This Directive allows European citizens to travel freely in all EU countries. However, its wording is not precise, as it does not clarify whether the insurance obligation applies to all vehicles, whether private or public. space. This ambiguity forced the Slovenian Court to seek the intervention of the European Court of Justice.

The latter's decision was that yes, every vehicle, even when moving in private, must be insured for third party liability. The decision has a long hand, touching the racing vehicles that are driven on private tracks.

CEB11 13 News, Europe

Not only that, but electric Segways at airports, forklifts in logistics warehouses, tractors on a farm, and even electric carriages on golf courses!

In the event that we are interested, according to the reasoning of the decision in each European GP race, every rider from Marc Márquez to Stefano Valtulini of Moto3 should be covered by insurance against any damage they could cause to another rider in the event of a fall. or else.

And yes in the case of the top world events the money is there to cover such insurance. But think of the small divisions in the national championships, the local races and the hundreds of track-days on the European tracks every weekend.

Virtually all tracks, from the most famous and famous to the smallest local and invisible, survive only thanks to the track-days and races of the various clubs, and not the one GP or WSBK or F1 race they hold each year. However, these small events are not able to bear the financial burden of third party liability insurance.

Following the ruling of the European Court of Justice, EU member states will have to incorporate case law into their code governing the obligation. The result could be really catastrophic for countries where people love the slopes such as Italy, Spain, Germany, France, England…

We say we could, because the EU immediately recognized the problem and has now embarked on a road race for the timely "recast" of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage Directive.

Responsible for the salvation of our favorite sport is FISMA, the General Directorate for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Hellenic Capital Markets Association.

This Directorate has never intended to impose insurance against third parties on any type of motor vehicle, regardless of where it operates and moves. The intention of the legislator was only to grant the right to compensation to anyone who falls victim to a car accident on EU roads.

From what we read, the proposal of the FISMA Directorate seeks to correct the ambiguity of the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Directive by limiting the liability to vehicles used for transport purposes on public roads or other public access areas.

The wording that seems to be proposed is something like this (as we are not official EU translators):

"The application of the Directive applies only to accidents caused by motor vehicles in the context of their circulation. This could be achieved by precisely defining the sites and activities that fall within the scope of this designation. Traffic use could mean using the vehicle to transport people or goods, whether on the move or not, to places accessible to the public under national law.

CEB12 12 News, Europe

Activities that do not fall within the scope of this definition can be regulated at national level by the Member States, which ultimately have the responsibility of deciding whether to include them in some other type of overall regulation. Thus, the guaranteed funds would not be obliged by EU law to compensate for the effects of road accidents that did not occur in the context of traffic. No change in premiums or auxiliary funds would be necessary to meet the claim for compensation of road accident victims occurring in the context of purely agricultural, construction, industrial, motor sports or festive activities, when they are carried out outside the designated use in traffic.

The above pension would essentially exclude motor sports from the Directive. The difficulties arising from the Vnuk decision would disappear, while the obligation to insure all vehicles in circulation in Europe would remain.

But until the formal adaptation to the text of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive, all European countries are in a strange Limbo legal situation.

The proposal of the FISMA Management was to be implemented in the 3rd quarter of 2016. The quarter came and went, but there was no new Directive. Obviously there is still a lot of work to be done, but they have to hurry, because in 3 months the tournaments start again and the lack of regulation can cause unpredictable situations.