‘Off-road quads and lawnmowers face insurance requirements’

Ride-on lawnmowers, wheelchairs and motorised toy cars could be in line for new insurance requirements, independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has claimed.

According to the TD for Galway-Roscommon, a “knee-jerk reaction” by the EU Commission to a court case in Slovenia – which related to a man that was injured following an accident involving a tractor – could see any mechanically-propelled vehicle requiring insurance – even if it is not on a public road.

“Ordinary householders will need insurance for items such as their ride-on lawnmowers,” he said.

Insurance will also be required by parents whose children have toy cars, or bikes, or even a person with reduced mobility operating a motorised wheelchair in their own home.

The deputy described the commission’s decision as “bureaucracy gone mad”, noting that it will impact on everyone and increase the cost of insurance – as he claims “litigation will go through the roof”.

He claims farmers could also be impacted, as quads used off-road – and self-propelled machines – could be subject to new insurance requirements.

He explained that the issue came to light when a man in Slovenia was injured in an accident involving a tractor; the man in question took the matter through the courts – all the way up to European level.

Deputy Fitzmaurice added: “While it is difficult to comprehend how a minor incident in Slovenia can impact on our property rights, increase our costs and take more money out of the pocket of ordinary citizens, this seems to be the Europe we now live in.

“There is I understand a sensible amendment that could reduce its impact; but, we are hearing that the EU Commission is reluctant to adopt it.

This is why it is absolutely essential that all of our TDs, senators and MEPs get involved in lobbying the commission to have this amendment adopted.

“Unfortunately many of our public representatives, who are terrified by the prospect of Brexit, are afraid to say anything that would make the EU look foolish or out of touch,” Fitzmaurice said.

“This is why we also need as many people as possible to contact their public representatives – and especially their MEPs – to get this changed.”