by Ani Martirosyan
Absurd sanctions against drivers having no motor third- party liability insurance policies (MTPL) have sparked public outrage.
Particularly, Tigran Hovhannisyan, the President of the Drivers' Defense League NGO, told reporters that the government's legislative initiative stipulating insurance of cars irrespective of their registration date is absurd. Hovhannisyan said that a big number of drivers in Armenia have sold their old cars long ago, but are reluctant to pay 5,000 drams fines once in ten days. Actually, the fines may ready 100,000 drams.
The Road Police told ArmInfo that technical problems and inaccuracies in the administrative acts emerging from them can be settled by applying to the Administrative Office of the Road Police. Nevertheless, the situation has become so absurd because in 1990s and early 2000s, car purchase-and-sale was rather a popular business for thousands of privates. Earlier, the legislation did not oblige registration of deals at the Road Police. To sell a car, it was enough to have a warrant or acknowledgement with the amount of deal. This facilitated procedures has become a true financial guillotine for thousands of people due to ill-considered actions of statesmen. These sanctions apply even to the cars that were dismantled long ago. Observers say that such actions should have been taken only after 'cleaning' the old registration database and informing car owners beforehand. Both the legal services of the Bureau of Car Insurers and the Road Police of Armenia have confirmed the absurdness of the situation to ArmInfo's correspondent, who also paid a fine for a car sold 13 years ago. They think the big number of complaints against the ill-thought decision of the government may help settling the problem. Nevertheless, big fines will be charged 'for nothing' unless the government takes actions to this end.
The MTPL was introduced in Armenia on 1 January 2011. The Central Bank of Armenia has been supervising the insurance market since 1 January 2006. According to the Ranking of Armenian Insurance Companies prepared by ArmInfo Agency, in the first half of 2012 7 insurance companies of Armenia collected 23.8 billion drams premiums, including 10.1 million drams MTPL premiums. Indemnities of the local insurance companies for the period under review reached 6 bln drams, including 4.2 bln drams MTPL indemnities.