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Australia's Best Cars of 2013

Posted in Motor Vehicle
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

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Looking for a new vehicle can be a difficult decision with the extensive amount of cars on the market, which is why determining which models sit apart from the rest can help you make the best choice.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has recently announced the winners of 2013's Best Car Awards. Focusing on 15 categories, the awards assess cars according to safety criteria, affordability, and overall quality.

Chief executive of the AAA, Andrew McKellar, stated "the winning vehicles are the best of the best in their categories and perform consistently high in all assessment areas".

This confirms that the awards look for functionality and safety features over appearance or luxury. In fact, cars must have a five star ANCAP rating or be eligible to gain one in order to be a winner in any category.

Among the winners are the Holden Commodore SV6, which won 'Best Large Car under $60,000', and the Volkswagon Golf GTI, which won 'Best Sports Car under $50,000'.

Those looking for a nifty small vehicle to manoeuvre tight parking spaces could consider the cars that took out the 'Best Small Car' categories of 'under $35,000' and 'over $35,000'. These were the Hyundai i30 Active and Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TSFI COD, respectively.

The rising popularity of 4x4 Dual Cab Utes contributed to its inclusion as a category in the Best Car Awards for 2013, and was won by the Ford Ranger XL 3.2.

The only category not included in the awards in 2013 was the 'Best People Mover', as no cars were able to fit all the requirements needed to crown a winner.

Perhaps the ultimate winner of the awards is the car that receives the prestigious 'judge's choice' award. This year, it went to the Mazda6 Touring, which also won the 'Best Medium Car under $50,000'.

AAA's Best Car Awards are a perfect way to discover a couple of models that could suit your requirements. Plenty of these outstanding vehicles would make fabulous additions to the garage - just don't forget to invest in ctp insurance if you do decide to buy one!

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Results for Operation Drink Drive 1

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The NSW Police Force has released the results for Operation Drink Drive 1 (Media Release, 23 February 2014).

The results for Operation Drink Drive 1, which we spoke about in an earlier blog, were as follows:

Road Toll
Road Injuries
Speeding Infringements
Breath Tests
Drink-driving charges 124
Traffic infringements

NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said "There were two fatalities during the Operation Drink Drive 1 period, which is five down on last year." He also said that "While the statistics for Operation Drink Drive 1 have been encouraging, with 164 fewer drink-drive charges, our current NSW road toll remains higher than at this time last year".

Operation Saturation is now underway.

Operation Saturation is a four week blitz on speeding drivers. Operation saturation will feature high visibility static operations in known accident hot spots.

Operation Saturation continues until midnight on Sunday 23 March 2014.

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Operation Drink Drive 1 and Operation Saturation

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Friday, 21 February 2014

NSW police launched two major road safety campaigns this week.

Operation Drink Drive 1 commenced on Thursday and runs until midnight on Saturday, 22 February. As the name implies, it is aimed at drink driving.

Operation Saturation is a blitz on speeding which commences immediately after Operation Drink Drive 1 and runs for one month.

So far, 2014 has been a bad year for road trauma. According to the NSW Police Force press release, in the first 48 days of 2014, 57 people lost their lives on NSW roads, a 50% increase over the same period last year during which 38 people lost their lives. According to the press release alcohol was a major factor in about one in seven crashes involving a fatality.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner - Specialist Operations, Catherine Burn makes it clear that whilst random breath testing has had a major impact on the number of road deaths, the task is ongoing. She said "In the year before we introduced RBT in NSW, the road toll was almost 1,300, compared to last years record low of 339. Nevertheless, many people just don't seem to be getting the message about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2013, we charged about 22,000 people with drink-driving offences".

Police will conduct a high number of random breath tests this weekend. We can also expect to see a high police profile during the blitz on speeding.

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Troubles with the M5

Posted in Traffic
Friday, 14 February 2014

Problems with the M5 again this morning.

Before 6.00am there was a car broken down in the left lane eastbound, just before King Georges road. A good run was halted. Traffic was backed-up...again.

Maybe this is just a wasted lament, but it seems that it does not take much to go wrong for the M5 to grind to a halt.

Accidents on the M5 are frequent. An accident guarantees a dreadfully slow run, even if the cars involved in the accident are well away from the traffic lanes. In fact, accidents even affect traffic traveling in the opposite direction. It seems that a lot of drivers can not drive past an accident scene without slowing down to look at what has happened, resulting in the slow procession past the accident scene.

There has to be a better way of dealing with accidents on expressways. If the vehicles involved in an accident can be driven, the vehicles should be driven off the expressway at the next exit so that the drivers can exchange details without causing chaos. If vehicles need to be towed, they should be towed as soon as possible.

The issues with accidents and breakdowns on the M5 are repeated everyday on roads around Sydney.

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Double Demerits - Christmas, New Year 2013/14

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Double demerits will apply again over the Christmas, New Year period.

Double demerits will commence at midnight on Thursday 19 December 2013 and will be in place until midnight on Thursday 2 January 2014.

Double demerits apply for speeding, seatbelt and motor cycle helmet offences.

Under the demerit point scheme, demerit points are accumulated against your driving licence for a series of specified driving offences. If you accumulate points in excess of a threshold within a three year period, your licence will be suspended or refused.

The thresholds are as follows:
Unrestricted Licence – 13 points
Unrestricted Licence, Professional Driver – 14 points
Unrestricted Licence, Good Behavior Period – 2 points (within the good behavior period)
P2 Licence (green P plate) – 7 points
P1 Licence (red P plate) – 4 points
Learner Licence – 4 points.

Examples of the demerit points that can be accumulated during a double demerit period are set out below:
Exceed speed limit by more than 20 km/h but not more than 30 km/h – 8 points
Exceed speed limit by more than 10 km/h but not more than 20 km/h – 6 points
Exceed speed limit by not more than 10 km/h – 2 points
Drive vehicle not wearing a seat belt and with two or more unrestrained passengers – 18 points
Drive vehicle not wearing seat belt and with one unrestrained passenger – 12 points
Drive vehicle not wearing a seat belt (no unrestrained passengers) – 6 points
Ride motorbike without approved motor bike helmet and with one unhelmeted passenger – 12 points
Ride motorbike without approved motor bike helmet (rider alone) – 6 points

The application of double demerits can be severe and can easily result in you exceeding your threshold, particularly if you are on a provisional or learner licence. If you are on an unrestricted licence with good behaviour period, any double demerits for speeding, seatbelt or helmet offences during the good behaviour period can result in the loss of you licence.

The message is to slow down and drive safely over the Christmas, New Year period.

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