Dishonorable dismissal: ICBC no longer insures decommissioned military vehicles

Vancouver, British Columbia — What was once an unconventional hobby that brought a community together is now a collection of “expensive paperweights,” says Mark Fleming of West Vancouver, an active Canadian Forces reservist whose collection of decommissioned military vehicles has become un insurable overnight.

Fleming salvages and rents disused military vehicles, like WWII American jeeps and Soviet tanks, but was recently forced to repay the sale of a surplus American Humvee when the customer learned it would be uninsurable. through ICBC.

He says the vehicle had been legally imported and inspected, registered and taxed as recently as last summer.

“To be clear, I’m not asking to drive tanks on the road… What they’re saying is that a civilian Hummer with shiny paint is perfectly legal, but a military one with green or tan paint is not,” Flamand said.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) Branch issued a bulletin in November prohibiting inspectors from approving “non-compliant” ex-military vehicles that do not were “not designed to comply with the standards prescribed in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act”. for motor vehicles designed for highway use at the time of vehicle manufacture.

“A non-compliant ex-military vehicle may ONLY be inspected under Division 25, Part 1 of the Motor Vehicle Regulations (MVAR) if its permissible gross weight is greater than 8,200 kg. Even if a non-compliant ex-military vehicle passes inspection, it is not cleared for unrestricted use on the road,” the bulletin states.

Fleming says he takes issue with the lack of justification given for the change, seeing it as an arbitrary attempt by the government to legislate taste.

“They just don’t like military vehicles. It’s a question of taste. It has nothing to do with safety, because they are certainly safer than some of the other perfectly legal vehicles,” he said, pointing out the contradiction in the fact that dangerous “lemons” can be acquired relatively easily. , but the armored version of a consumer vehicle is strictly prohibited.

He mentions the impact of this hobby on veterans who are able to overcome the effects of PTSD with these vehicles.

“A lot of it is a kind of therapy for them. We’re talking about guys who have PTSD and stuff like that and they get it wrong for no reason,” Fleming said.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has released the following statement, effectively putting the ball in ICBC’s court for now.

“With safety being the CVSE’s top priority, the CVSE conducted a formal review of inspection practices for ex-military type vehicles in the fall of 2020. The goal was to ensure that designated inspection facilities and authorized inspectors received clarification regarding inspection and provincial vehicle standards. for these types of vehicles. CVSE followed up with ICBC to provide clarification. Additionally, the CVSE has issued Bulletin 01-21 for all inspection facilities to provide clarification on these types of vehicles. CVSE is not involved in administration or policy regarding vintage or collectible vehicles. Monitoring is done by ICBC. The application of inspection requirements would not change if the vehicle is an antique or collector’s vehicle. Vehicle use, fare class, registration, registration and insurance options are at the discretion of ICBC as the provincial insurer. Non-compliant vehicles may still be eligible for restricted use, which would be determined by ICBC.

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