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Motorsport exempted from controversial insurance requirement

Published: 30 January 2019

After extensive lobbying by numerous motorsport organisations, the European Parliament has agreed to exempt bike racing from the EU’s Motor Insurance Directive (also known as Vnuk) which would have required all motorcycles to have a form of road traffic insurance, even if they were specialist vehicles not meant for the road.

As no insurance of this kind is commercially available, this could have seen the end of motorcycle racing as we know it across Europe.

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IMCO, the European Parliament committee responsible for the MID, voted overwhelmingly in favour of exempting motorsport with a tally of 32 to two.

During the discussion, members of IMCO adopted a report recommending excluding 'vehicles intended exclusively for motorsports' as 'these vehicles are generally covered by other forms of liability insurance'.

The report also made clear that it was necessary a line should be drawn between 'in traffic' and 'non-traffic' situations.

The MID was proposed after Damijan Vnuk, a Slovenian farm worker, was knocked off a ladder by a tractor reversing across a farmyard. After this incident it was decided that all vehicles, even those not destined for road use, should be insured.

The MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association), together with UK bodies including the Auto Cycle Union, Motorsport Industry Association and Department for Transport lobbied against the European Parliament alongside the FIA, FIM and European Motorcycle Industry Association.

"This is great news and a big relief for motorsport of all types," said Tony Campbell, CEO of the MCIA. "The potential impact would have been catastrophic and likely to result in the end of motorsport as we know it."

There are still some legislative hurdles to overcome, including gaining the agreement of the EU Council, but a positive final verdict is expected later this year.

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