This blog was launched by Nicholas Bevan in April 2013 to alert his fellow legal professionals to the systemic illegality that permeated the UK's national law provision for compulsory third party motor insurance. Major reforms have resulted. Unfortunately, Brexit has stalled this process, making this blog largely redundant. Earlier posts are retained here as archive material.
Dr Nicholas Bevan
Monday, 4 February 2019
Answer to Consultation Question 40
Law Commission Consultation on Automated Vehicles
Question 40 (Paragraphs
9.6 - 9.37)
We seek views on whether it would be acceptable for
a highly automated vehicle to be programmed never to mount the pavement.
One of the main benefits of advanced automation is its promise of
improved independent access to private transport for the elderly and the
handicapped and cheap door to door delivery of goods.
By shoehorning this new statutory form of product liability into the
Road Traffic Act’s archaic and limited scope, both in terms of its geographic
reach and the types of vehicles covered by s2’s new direct liability, the
government has needlessly exposed children and other vulnerable individuals
from the protection of the compulsory insurance regime.It is hard to identify any coherent public
policy objective that is served by this anomaly. As indicated above, unless ADS are prohibited
on private property (which is clearly undesirable), the current geographic
restriction to roads and public places not only breaches EU law (Article 3 of
Directive 2009/103/EC on motor insurance) but it also lacks vision as pavements
and private places are likely to feature as points of embarkation or
destination in many journeys featuring ADS.
Should highly automated vehicles ever exceed speed limits?