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European Traffic Accident Reporting: Are We There Yet?
A round table “Road Traffic Legal Relations in the Light of Recent Legislative Developments” was held by LIGA:ZAKON on September 28, 2011
VASIL KISIL & PARTNERS, Kyiv, Ukraine
Monday, October 03, 2011
The event brought together leading Ukrainian specialists of motor vehicle law, officials of the Road Traffic Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and representatives of insurance companies and public organizations of motor vehicle drivers who discussed the implications of the latest legislative developments to become effective. The debate focused on the abolishment of mandatory technical inspections, following European standards in car accident reports, as well as grounds for road traffic inspectors to stop cars.
Vladyslav Podolyak, Attorney and Leading Associate with Vasil Kisil & Partners, delivered his presentation during the second session of the round table dedicated to introduction in Ukraine of the so-called “Europrotocols”, or traffic accident reports.
In February, 2011 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a Law which starting September 19 this year allowed the drivers in certain cases not to call road traffic inspectors for drafting administrative papers when a traffic accident occurs. Instead, traffic accident participants may voluntarily draft a traffic accident report on a special form issued by an insurance company and then submit such report to the insurance company or the Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine (to be done by the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident) to indemnify the injured party for the damages.
Mr. Podolyak highlighted the following main advantages of the European car accident report: guilty drivers are released from administrative liability provided by Article 124 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences (i.e. a fine/withdrawal of a driving license is no longer applied), time is saved (now, there is no need to inform road traffic inspectors and wait until they arrive, or to have a traffic accident certificate issued by the Road Traffic Inspectorate, or participate in an administrative court hearing). Besides, traffic flow will be unclogged in megacities (after filling the Car Accident Report, the involved drivers may leave the accident scene).
Vladyslav, however, believes that European car accident reports still have some drawbacks as the liability covered by an insurer is lower than in case of the general procedure for traffic accident registration by road traffic inspectors and court hearing of an administrative offence case (the State Commission for Regulation of Financial Services Markets) is now considering the amount of UAH 10,000. Besides, liability coverage is limited only to car damage/destruction and so are indemnity eligibility criteria (nobody must be injured or deceased, drivers must agree on the circumstances of a road accident, all cars must be insured, there must be no signs of drivers’ intoxication, etc.). Furthermore, traffic accident reports are currently not practiced in Ukraine at all. The driver may receive a form of the European car accident report only by re-entering into an insurance agreement with an insurance company. Thus, there is a lot of hard work ahead to explain legislative amendments to insurance companies and the Europrotokol completion procedure to drivers.