ADVERTISEMENT

New app to help with speeding around school zones

There are certain responsibilities that come with owning and driving a car on the Australian roads. From obtaining a ctp green slip and registering your vehicle to ensuring you stick to the speed limit, owning a car is something that can’t be taken lightly.

Unfortunately, some drivers flout these responsibilities without thought for the consequences. Plenty of Australians will have nudged over the speed limit in their driving years, but speeding is a known risk factor for crashes that could seriously injure those involved.

This risk is increased when speeding around areas where children congregate, such as schools and playgrounds. Children are often unaware of the danger that a speeding car poses and can find it difficult to judge distance – making them more likely to dart out when it’s too late.

To combat the risks surrounding speeding near schools, the New South Wales Government has released a Speed Adviser app for iPhones that warns users when they are entering a school zone.

According to Roads Minister Duncan Gay, the app will warn road users that they are entering a school zone, and includes information on every school in NSW.

“It is heartbreaking to hear of child fatalities or injuries around schools and we need motorists to understand that school zone speed limits are there to save lives,” Minister Gay said.

There is no need to interact with the mobile phone while driving to make the app work, and drivers can set it up before they leave for their destination.

In addition to alerting motorists of upcoming school zones, the app will remind them of changing speed limits and warn them if they creep over the limit while on the roads.

However, Minister Gay cautions that the app is no replacement for speed signs, vigilance or awareness of road conditions. Of course, the best way to avoid a speeding fine (or worse) as a consequence, is not to speed at all – but the app is a great way to remind forgetful drivers.

Currently, the Speed Adviser app is only available for iPhones but should be available in an Android version by early this year.

Australia’s Best Cars of 2013

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. What were the best cars of 2013?

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 4×4 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!

Results for Operation Drink Drive 1

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 2
Road Injuries 1,118
Speeding Infringements 1,156
Breath Tests 249,536
Drink-driving charges 124
Traffic infringements 4,534

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.

Operation Drink Drive 1 and Operation Saturation

NSW police launched two major road safety campaigns this week, Operation Drink Drive and Operation Saturation.

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.

Troubles with the M5

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.

Tolls. How much are you paying?

Have you worked out how much you are paying in tolls on a daily, monthly or annual basis?

If you drive to work in Sydney it is highly likely you will be hit with a toll somewhere in your trip.  Some drivers can pay up to 5 or 6 tolls in a return trip to work each day.  The impost would be even higher for professional drivers such as couriers, taxi drivers and truck drivers.

As an example, a drive from Campbelltown or Liverpool to the city and return in a passenger car can cost as much as $24.47 per day.  That is $489.40 per month or $5,872.80 per year.

If you drive from Liverpool to the city, there is the M5 ($4.40), Eastern Distributor ($6.17) and the Cross City Tunnel ($4.95).  On the way home, there is the Cross City Tunnel and the M5 again.  Luckily, the Eastern Distributor only charges for north bound journeys.

The trap is that you pay each toll by way of draw down of funds from your account.  It is easy to overlook the total cost.

How much do you pay in tolls?

Changes to Learner Hours and Speeds, Plus New Restricted Provisional Licences

The NSW Government announced yesterday more changes to the logbook driving hours requirement for learner licences.

Learners who participate in a new Safer Driving Course will be able to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 hours to 100 hours.

The reduction of 20 hours is in addition to the 20 hour reduction already available for having 10 hours of professional lessons.

In total, learners will be able to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 down to 80 if they participate in the new Safer Driving Course and also have 10 hours of professional lessons.

The new Safer Driving Course will involve both theoretical and practical training and has been developed in consultation with safety and industry experts.

The government also announced that from 1 July 2013, learners will be allowed to travel at 90km/h, instead of the current 80km/h.

The final aspect of the announcement is that restricted provisional drivers licences are being tested in three remote communities in northern NSW.

The restricted provisional licences are designed to assist young drivers from remote, lower socio-economic and Aboriginal communities satisfy the requirements to get their P-plates.

Under 25 year olds from those remote communities will be eligible for the restricted provisional drivers licence if they have completed 50 supervised driving hours and have passed the driving test.  They will only be able to use the restricted provisional licence to drive to work, education and medical appointments.

CTP Greenslips Across Australia

We know that those of us who take the time to shop around, we can find cheap green slips in NSW, but what about the rest of the country? People who are planning to make an interstate move to, or from, New South Wales, will be interested to know that the process for purchasing CTP insurance in NSW does not always work in exactly the same way across Australia.

Overview of CTP Insurance in NSW

When registering a motor vehicle in NSW several steps are involved once you receive your renewal notice from the State Government’s Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) Department (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority – RTA).

Firstly, you will need to get a Green Slip – your Compulsory Third Party Insurance. NSW registrations are unique in that you are able to compare prices in order to get the cheapest Green Slip NSW has on offer. Your previous insurer will send you a renewal notice well in advance, but you are under no obligation to renew with them.

Use our NSW Green Slip Calculator to find the cheapest Greenslips in NSW.

Once you have paid for your green slip, its details will be sent electronically to RMS.

The second step is to have your vehicle inspected for roadworthiness at an Authorised Safety Check Inspection Station (ASCIS) for light vehicles. (Heavy vehicles inspections are conducted though an HVAIS, and cranes are inspected by an ACIS.)

Your e-Safety check will be transmitted electronically to RMS.

You can then either complete your registration online, paying the required registration fee electronically, send your registration renewal with payment to the RMS, or present at an RMS location and pay in person.

From January 1, 2013, there is no longer a requirement for registration stickers to be displayed on NSW registered vehicles.

The NSW CTP Insurance scheme is explained in full on this website, including everything you need to know to compare and purchase your greenslip.

So that’s the story for CTP insurance in NSW, what about the other States and Territories?

How Much Is CTP Insurance in QLD?

When you register, or renew registration, on a motor vehicle in Queensland, there is no real need to shop around for the best Greenslip price. You simply nominate on your registration documents which insurer you choose to use, and the insurance is actioned at the same time as your registration.

There are six companies who provide CTP insurance in Queensland:
AAMI
ALLIANZ
NRMA Insurance
QBE
RACQ Insurance
SUNCORP

Their prices are all the same, which in February 2012, was $328.80 for 12 months, for a Vehicle Class 1, without Input Tax Credit Entitlement (ITCE).

However, as is the case with a CTP NSW insurer, if you have other policies with one of these providers, e.g. home contents insurance, then by electing them as your CTP insurance provider as well, you may be offered a multi-policy discount on those other products.

CTP Insurance in Victoria

In Victoria, when you register your car, a component of your registration is a TAC charge or TAC premium. ‘TAC’ stands for Transport Accident Charge, which is Victoria’s Compulsory Third Party insurance, its Greenslip.

Managed by the Victorian Government’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) rather than individual insurers, so there is no need to go through the process of searching for the cheapest Greenslip NSW-style.

The Transport Accident Act 1986 is the legislation that guides the type of benefits the TAC can pay, but they are essentially the same as in other states, i.e. for the treatment and compensation for people injured in accidents caused by drivers of Victorian registered vehicles.

How Much is a Green Slip in SA?

Compulsory Third Party Insurance in South Australia is referred to as Motor Injury Insurance, and is controlled by the Government’s Motor Accident Commission (MAC).  As with Victoria and Queensland, CTP insurance is bundled with your vehicles registration fees.

In 2013 the MAC increased insurance rates by an average of 4.7%. This brought the Class 1 passenger vehicle premium to $512 (family car garaged near or in Adelaide).

All claims enquiries and claims processing are managed by MAC’s Claims Manager, Allianz Australia Limited, which is one of the providers we compare to get the cheapest Green Slip NSW rates.

CTP ACT – Australian Capital Territory Green Slips

As with elsewhere in Australia, it is compulsory for anyone registering a vehicle to have compulsory third party insurance in the Australian Capital Territory.

Unlike the New South Wales model where, when registration time comes, around you can shop around and compare green slip NSW prices, there is only one provider of CTPI for ACT motorists – NRMA Insurance.

As a rough guide to rates, as at 1 September 2012, the CTP rate for a passenger vehicle in the ACT was $578.70.

CTP Insurance in Western Australia

Compulsory Third Party Insurance in Western Australia is provided by the state government under the auspices of the Insurance Commission of WA.  The Commission is subject to conditions of the insurance policy and the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943.

The premium to cover this insurance is included with motor vehicle registration.

For a Class 1X Motor car used for private purposes, the premium, as at 1 July 2012, was $245.01.  As with all other states, including NSW greenslips, prices vary depending on the type of motor vehicle being registered.

NRMA Covers Tasmania CTP

Tasmanian CTP insurance is governed by the Motor Accidents Insurance Board, but as in the ACT, the NRMA is the sole provider of green slips for Tasmania.

Green Slips in The Northern Territory

CTP insurance in the Northern Territory is paid as part of motor vehicle registration renewal, and is managed by the Territory Insurance Office (TIO). Currently the CTP component for a car of less than or equal to 4 cylinders is $227.90.

From July 1, 2013 the Northern Territory will abolish registration stickers.

New South Wales is unique in giving its motor vehicle owners the flexibility to seek out budget CTP green slip quotes, and using our free Greenslip Calculator allows you to do it all in one place.

New Road Numbering System

RMS (formerly the RTA) is introducing a new road numbering system and new names for some important routes.  The changes will commence in early 2013 and should be fully implemented by the end of that year.

The changes are simple in that they apply a letter and number code to Motorways (M), roads of national significance (A) and roads of state significance (B).  The numbers identify the different motorways or roads within each category.

The changes will make navigation on major routes much simpler.  For example, if want to drive to Broken Hill from Sydney, you will simply follow the A32 the whole way.  If you want to drive from Sydney to Walgett you join the B55 and follow it through to Walgett.

The changes are consistent with systems in most other states so that the same code will apply as roads cross into those states.

Name changes will apply to some major roads, however the changes are not significant and should not have a major impact.

More information is available on the RMS website.

 

Rego Labels Abolished

The NSW State Government has announced that registration labels for light vehicles will be abolished from 1 January 2013.

From that date registration labels will no longer be required for cars, motorbikes and trucks with a GVM up to 4.5 tonnes.

Registration labels are not a reliable indication that a vehicle is validly registered and in any case police check vehicle registration regardless of the label.

The RMS has introduced a facility for checking vehicle registration.  If you go to the free registration check page of the RMS website and enter a vehicle registation number, you will receive information on the registration status and on the current greenslip insurer for that vehicle.