BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - The federal and state governments have agreed not to introduce the compulsory motor vehicle insurance for ride-on lawn mowers, forklifts and other mobile machines that do not require registration, as originally planned by the federal government. This was announced by the Bundesrat on Wednesday evening after a meeting of the mediation committee. Instead, the traffic victim assistance scheme is to pay for any damage caused by the use of these vehicles at a maximum speed of 20 kilometers per hour.

The EU Directive, which is to be transposed into national law with the Federal Government's draft law, expressly allows for this exception. The German government, on the other hand, had advocated the introduction of compulsory insurance for use on public roads. Turning a lawnmower on the sidewalk or borrowing a forklift truck from a neighbor's yard would no longer have been permitted without insurance.

The German government had spoken out against the obligation of the road accident insurance fund to cover damage caused by these vehicles in public traffic and on private and company premises, arguing, among other things, that this would be at the expense of all those paying motor vehicle liability insurance premiums. With this "fund solution", those who do not own such machines would also have to pay a contribution. The Bundesrat, on the other hand, argued that this would "avoid contract changes, workload and costs, particularly for agricultural businesses".

The Bundestag passed the federal government's bill on December 14. At the beginning of February, the Bundesrat refused to approve the project. As the Federal Government wants to avoid fines that could be imposed due to the failure to implement an EU directive, it was keen to complete the legislative process quickly./abc/DP/zb