§ Mr. Speller asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek to amend that part of the Road Traffic Act 1962 which puts an automatic responsibility for payment of a medical charge upon the motorist involved in an accident with a pedestrian, no matter if the accident was entirely the fault of the pedestrian or some third party.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg:
I have been asked to reply.
No. An emergency treatment fee has been payable under road traffic legislation since the 1930s. The charges payable under the 1972 Act enable the Health Service to recover a small proportion of the increasingly heavy cost of treating road traffic casualties—currently over £90 million per year in England. Whilst the emergency treatment fee must be paid irrespective of proven negligence, this liability is covered by insurance policies, and most insurance companies will reimburse the fee without prejudice to any no claims bonus.