You may recall some time back that the EU were considering requiring all motorised vehicles to carry 3rd party insurance even if they were never used on the road. This followed on from a legal case involving a man injured when a ladder he was working on was struck by a tractor and trailer. Insurers refused to cover the claim because the accident was on private property and the vehicle being used was classed as an agricultural machine. You can read more about it by Googling “The Vnuk Judgment”.
Well, the Department for Transport has been considering a new EU Directive, driven by this judgment, that would require all “vehicles” including mobility scooters, golf buggies, ride on lawn mowers, and potentially vehicles off road under a SORN to carry full insurance. They issued a consultation document on Tuesday and have expressed concerns about reforms and all the cost implications. The consultation runs until March next year and the documents can be viewed by clicking on this link – Vnuk Judgment .
The DfT said it would have to abide by the new rules until the UK leaves the EU. That would probably mean until 2019. Apparently, some vehicles that might have to come under the new legislation would include electric pedal cycles, Segways, ride-on lawnmowers, mobility scooters, golf buggies, ride-on children’s toys, and motor sports vehicles. The latter would of course include all track day cars.
In a letter, today to the Times, Steve Kenward (CEO of the Motor Cycle Industry Association) and Chris Aylett (CEO of the Motorsport Industry Association) have strongly criticised the “ill-considered” EU directive. The issue is that the change in the law would mean that 3rd party insurance would be compulsory for all vehicles involved in motor sport, and that would include all our track day cars. The insurance would be additional to any cover provided for the road, and the bottom line is that insurers have already made it clear that third party risks for motor sport activities are uninsurable.
To quote from the letter to the Times, “Implementing the ruling would, at a stroke, wipe out legal motor sport activity.” And of course that would include track days.
22 December 2016
A customer had a fairly heavy “off” at Castle Combe last Saturday. The car became unsettled as it crested Avon Rise, ended up sideways and careered at high speed head-on into the Armco on the outside of the circuit. The car rebounded violently and the front passenger seat broke free of its floor mounts leaving the passenger to be thrown around inside the car. His helmet made heavy contact with the unpadded roll cage directly behind him.
What this highlighted to me was that even though a safety cage may be well out of the normal contact zone, other factors like the seat coming free from its mountings, or the car body distorting significantly, can result in the occupants of the car getting fairly rough treatment, bruising, cuts or worse from contact with things like the cage and any other potentially damaging items in the car.
I think the message is clear.
- If you have a roll cage then fit it with roll cage padding.
- If you stripped the inside of the car to reduce weight, cover all the welded seams and other sharp edges with padding. You might also consider sheet padding material for hard surfaces in the cockpit area.
- If you’ve taken out the door linings fit padding to the side intrusion tubing.
Demon Tweeks stocks suitable roll cage and sheet padding here – Demon Tweeks .
I also came across this site that looks like it caters for all needs – Safety Devices .
Googling “Roll cage padding” throws up a whole heap of other suppliers. Now that the 2015 is getting well underway why not get out there and cover that bare metal now. It’s lightweight, easy to fit and pretty cheap so well worth it.
As an aside, if you are also looking for track training you might find an instructor reluctant to ride with you if the car is all bare metal and sharp edges.