Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan
www.nicholasbevan.com

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Department for Transport reject call to revise the Uninsured Drivers Agreement

I paste below the Department for Transport's reply to my open letter of 10 July 2015.

My reply follows in my next blog.


 
 




31 July 2015


Dear Mr Bevan,

Uninsured Drivers Agreement 2015

Thank you for your email of 10 July about the new Uninsured Drivers Agreement between the Secretary of State for Transport and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).  I am responding within our usual guidelines for replying to members of the public which is 20 working days.

The new Agreement is the product of several years’ discussion, serious consideration and negotiation between this Department and the MIB. Turning to the substantive issues that you have raised: 

Your letter states that clauses 8 (1) (a) and 9 of the new Agreement “are clearly not permitted under European law”.  You add that our introduction of the phrase “knew or had reason to believe” in clause 8 is also a breach of EU law.  We take a different view on each of these points and regard them as consistent with the provisions of the consolidated EU Directive 2009/103/EC.  

You refer the arbitration procedure in clause 17 and consider it must have been unintentional that we set no timescale for a claimant initiating a reference to an arbitrator.  We do not agree that there is anything defective with clause 17 and again consider it consistent with the Directive.

You refer to the consultation which we undertook in 2013 with regard to EU law, the Vnuk judgment and the Court of Appeal judgment in the Delaney case.  We have examined the Vnuk judgment and are presently working on our implementation options.  We will consult before making any changes and will ensure that your name will be included in the list of consultees.  We did not consider it appropriate to delay the new Agreement following the Delaney judgment: we accepted that we were in breach of EU law and wanted to ensure that we were compliant as soon as reasonably possible in order to avoid infraction proceedings.    

Finally, I would like to reply to your point that we have ignored the advice given in response to our consultation.  Whilst we appreciate your comments, it is important to stress that you were just one of a number of respondents and we gave your response the same consideration we did for the others.  Our intention is to have an Agreement which is both in line with EU law and is workable for the MIB to implement.

Yours sincerely,




[Author’s name redacted]

Road User Licensing Insurance and Safety Division

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