Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill

Written evidence submitted by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) (VTAB 06)

The BVRLA welcomes the publication of the above Bill, as well as the opportunity to provide its views on the content of the proposed legislation. Following meetings with both the Department for Transport, and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the BVRLA wishes to offer the following comments on the draft Bill:

Section 2

The BVRLA has been that as the Bill applies to vehicles owned by the Crown or a public body, and not those privately owned and/or operated. For this reason, we are reassured that clause 2(2) is not intended to hold the vehicle owner liable for damage caused by an automated vehicle when driving itself. However, we are concerned that the policy intention has not been sufficiently defined, and runs the risk of including the registered keepers of leased or hired vehicles (who are not necessarily the owners or drivers of these vehicles), if the vehicle in question has been leased or rented to that public body.

We therefore propose the following amendments to clause 2, to read:

"the owner of the vehicle is liable or the hirer where vehicle did not belong to him and was not in his possession under a contract of hiring or of loan".

For the same reasons outlined above, we would also like to see this clarification added under section 3, referring to contributory negligence, to ensure the crown is responsible for vehicles that are either leased or hired by the crown or public bodies covered by the section, as well as section 5, covering vehicle owner liability.

 

Interpretations

 

The BVRLA also believes that the Bill should define the following terms used in the proposed legislation:

 

1. Driving itself;

2. Clause 3(1)(2) – what is meant by the term "when not appropriate to do so", and the circumstances this is intended to cover; and

3. Vehicle owner – to mean vehicles owned by the crown or public bodies.

 

March 2017

 

 

Prepared 16th March 2017