This afternoon the House of Lords will debate the draft Whiplash Injury Regulations and related draft FCA rules. Both will take effect on 31 May 2021. The former sets the tariff for damages recoverable for whiplash injuries in which the symptoms last for less than 24 months – at significantly lower levels than the previous common law levels – and provide detail around the ban on settling whiplash claims without a medical report. The latter extends the powers of the FCA to police this ban.
The regulations will be passed by Peers – the enabling Act already has, back in 2018, and earlier versions of the tariff were available then – and in any event whiplash reform remains a government priority. In that regard, the MoJ’s recent robust response to criticism of the tariff is worth noting (at from page 4 here).
After this afternoon’s Lords debate the regulations will then pass to the Commons where they should be taken some in the early part of next month.
I spent 24 hours in Paris at the end of the summer and e-scooters seemed to be everywhere. With parts of the metro suspended for improvements I was tempted to use one – scan the QR code, get the app and go – but decided to leave that to the locals, at least for the time being.
How, if at all, to permit and effectively regulate the use of e-scooters in public spaces turns out to be a very topical question. Just this weekend the French authorities implemented new rules bringing e-scooters into the highway code. These include an age limit of at least 12, prohibition of use on footpaths, speed restrictions and insurance arrangements. The French government’s three page infographic about its new law is available here (in French).
Back in the UK, matters are evolving more slowly. At the beginning of August, the House of Commons Library produced a short paper E-scooters: Why are they not legal on UK roads? which sets out the existing regulatory barriers to their use on UK roads and pavements and hints at a possible government consultation later this year.
Last week the Ministry of Justice responded to the Justice Committee’s report on small claims published in May. Paragraph 36 of the MoJ’s response confirms that the Government will postpone implementation of the whiplash and small claims reform programme until at least April 2020. Justice Committee Chair Bob Neill MP then wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice to seek further clarification on certain aspects of the reforms. Continue reading →