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Minister Ross does not answer questions on European Court of Justice directive – Ellis

18 January, 2017 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Speaking today in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis asked Minister Ross the implications for insurance on off road vehicles arising from the Vnuk v Triglav ruling.  The ECJ interpreted the directive to mean that any motor vehicle, whether on private or public land, must be covered by third party insurance. 

The Dublin North West TD said:

“Mr Vnuk who brought an action for compensation for injury in his native Slovenia as a result of an accident.  Mr Vnuk lost his claim for compensation in the domestic courts on the basis that the vehicles were only insured when in public place but appealed his claim to the ECJ. Like Ireland, the Slovenian equivalent of our road traffic legislation required vehicles to be insured when they were on the road or other public place – but not necessarily when they were on private land. this might have serious implications on off road vehicles. 

“I have raised the issue of the misuse of all-terrain vehicles numerous times in the Dáil and the government and Senior Gardaí have always responded that this is already covered by legislation. Hence, I introduced a Bill called the Misuse of Vehicles in Public Spaces in 2012; this Bill was opposed by the Fine Gael Minister at the time, who, on advice, deemed it unnecessary. This contradicted the advice I was receiving from local safety forums from Gardaí and other relevant bodies which were indicating there is an anomaly in the current legislation.  Now, the current Minister needs to explain how the ECJ directive will affect both the definition of public space and the need to insure all motor vehicles on public and private land.” 

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