Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan

Monday, 15 April 2013

TINKERING AT THE EDGES and only 10 days left....

I have it on good authority that the Department for Transport's current thinking is that the extensive failings of the Uninsured Drivers Agreement and the Untraced Drivers Agreement can be fixed by releasing yet more supplementary agreements.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Extensive reforms to the Road Traffic Act 1988 are required to:

  • remove the anomalies that limit the scope of the compulsory third party motor insurance requirement
  • remove the loopholes that insurers exploit to avoid the statutory indemnity
Extensive reforms to the Uninsured and Untraced Drivers Agreements are necessary to:

  • remove the unlawful exclusions of liability that the MIB enjoy
  • prevent the unlawful deductions of compensation authorised under the Agreements
These defects deny victims their compensatory entitlement.  See my recent New Law Journal series of articles for the chapter and verse. The DfT review makes no proposals for dealing with these long standing defects in the compensatory protection afforded to victims of motor vehicle accidents.

Most of the DfT's proposals are sensible.  For example, it proposes doing away with many of the oppressive procedural knock out clauses that have delivered unjust windfalls to the MIB at the expense of injured victims.

However the proposal in Question 18 is illegal.  It is based on a false assumption that the Sixth Motor Insurance Directive permits member states a discretion to determine where exclusions of liability are permitted and where they are not. The European Court of Justice has repeatedly ruled that member states have no such discretion.

Here is a link to the DfT consultation paper.  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-uninsured-and-untraced-drivers-agreements

The table below demonstrates the peripheral nature of the DfT's proposals.

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