§ Mr. Coombs
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Motor Insurers' Bureau will pay compensation for bereavement in the case of death caused by hit-and-run drivers.
§ Mrs. Chalker
In making awards under the untraced drivers' agreement the bureau is required, subject to certain exceptions, to pay an amount which would have been payable under English or Scottish law, as the case may be, had it been possible to enforce a claim for damages against the untraced driver. A new head of damages for bereavement suffered by a husband or wife, or by parents of a child, was introduced in English law under the Administration of Justice Act 1982 and as a consequence the bureau is liable to compensate in like manner in the case of death caused by hit-and-run drivers in England and Wales.397W
In Scottish law, compensation is payable to members of the immediate family for loss of society of the deceased, but this was excluded by the untraced drivers' agreement in respect of compensation for hit-and-run accidents in Scotland. I am pleased to say, however, that the bureau has agreed that this exclusion should no longer apply. The new arrangements will apply to accidents occurring on or after 1 January 1983.