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Man on lawn tractor: Usually not particularly conspicuous road users

Photo: imago stock / imago stock&people

Germans are considered over-insured.

Nevertheless, the traffic light recently wanted to subject another group, the ride-on lawn mower drivers, to strict insurance requirements.

Now she has failed in this attempt.

The criticized requirement for self-propelled work machines and forklifts with a design-related maximum speed of 20 km/h should be abolished, the Mediation Committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat announced after its discussions on the topic.

The federal government appealed to the committee after its draft bill failed in the Bundesrat.

Previously, even the insurance industry had rejected the introduction of compulsory policies for these mini vehicles, especially since their users were not exactly known as conspicuous road users.

The insurers and several CDU-led states had sharply criticized the previously planned compulsory insurance because of additional bureaucracy.

Traffic victim assistance should step in

Instead of compulsory insurance, traffic victim assistance should now cover any damage that occurs when these mini-vehicles are used.

This association, which was once founded as a “hit-and-run fund” and financed by insurers, already steps in on public property if there is no other insurance coverage.

The EU directive, which is intended to be implemented into national law with the federal government's draft law, expressly allows this exception option.

The federal government had nevertheless spoken out in favor of introducing compulsory insurance for use on public roads - and justified the fact that coverage through traffic victim assistance would be at the expense of all contributors to motor vehicle liability insurance.

So those who don't own such machines would also have to make a contribution.

However, even turning the lawnmower on the sidewalk or borrowing the forklift from the neighbor's yard would no longer have been allowed without insurance.

The draft law stipulated that such violations could even be punished with fines or up to a year in prison.

The Federal Council also warned of contract changes, workload and costs, “particularly for agricultural businesses”.

The Bundestag passed the traffic light partners' bill on December 14th.

Since the federal government wants to avoid fines that could result from the failure to implement an EU directive, it was keen to conclude the legislative process quickly.