ADVERTISEMENT

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.

Greenslip Scam Warning

The MAA has issued a warning about a greenslip scam.

The scam was uncovered after reports from two insurers and involves more than 1,000 ctp greenslip policies. It seems to be centered around the south western suburbs of Sydney.

Under the scam, purchasers are paying cash at inflated prices for greenslips obtained fraudulently. Victims loose their money and do not have a valid greenslip for their vehicle.

When purchasing a greenslip, it is critical to ensure you purchase the greenslip directly from one of the seven licensed insurers or from a reputable broker or agent. The price of the greenslip should be based on your vehicle and your details. If in doubt, contact the insurer to confirm the price and to confirm that the broker or agent is entitled to act for them. Contact details for the insurers are set out on this website.

QBE – No At-Fault Driver Cover

QBE is no longer offering At-Fault Driver Cover on NSW greenslip policies commencing on or after 1 April 2012.

At-Fault Driver Cover is an additional feature offered now by four of the seven NSW greenslip insurers.

Through At-Fault Driver Cover, insurers offer to pay additional benefits to at fault drivers injured in a motor vehicle accident.  The injuries for which a benefit is payable and the benefits vary from insurer to insurer.

A full explanation of At-Fault Driver Cover and an insurer by insurer analysis of the benefits are available on this website.

New Learner Driver Course

The State Government announced this week that it will introduce a new course for learner drivers.

The course, which is still to be developed, will be aimed at giving learner drivers skills to become safer drivers.

A board of independent road safety experts and advisory panel will be appointed to make recommendations on the structure of the course.

Learner drivers who complete a safer driving course will have their log book requirements reduced from the current 120 hours to 100 hours.

Learner drivers will be able to combine the safer driving course with the three for one driving lessons concession to reduce their log book requirement to 80 hours.

Call for CTP Review

A review of the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) was released this week and some parties are not happy with the findings.

The NSW Parliamentary Law and Justice Standing Committee released its eleventh review into the MAA and the Motor Accidents Council (MAC) on Tuesday.  A copy of the report is available here.

Amongst other things, the report found that for the last five years there is a gap between the profit insurance companies project for the purpose of setting greenslip premiums and the profit they actually make.

The NSW Bar Association says that this represented a fundamental flaw in the greenslip scheme in NSW and, along with the NSW Greens, has called for an overhaul of the scheme.

The Insurance Council of Australia argues that the higher profits result from fewer claims on the scheme.

Battle of $77 green slip lift

There is an interesting article in today’s The Daily Telegraph by Andrew Clennell, titled “Battle of $77 green slip lift”.  The article says that the State Government, through the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA), is pushing back on requests by insurers for increased CTP greenslip premiums.

Under the current legislation, the MAA may reject a premium proposed by an insurer if, in its opinion, the premium will not fund liabilities under the scheme, the premium is excessive or the premium does not comply with guidelines issued by the MAA.

If the MAA and the insurer are not able to reach agreement on the premium, the matter may be resolved by an arbitrator agreed on by the parties, or in the absence of agreement on an arbitrator, by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

College St Cycleway Disaster

I have commented in the past about cycleways in the Sydney CBD and feel compelled to do so again. My comments this time are specifically about the cycleway in College Street, between the Cathedral and William Street.

I do not understand why cyclists run the risk in College Street traffic when there is a new cycleway running a parallel path. Any week day afternoon there are many cyclists weaving through the traffic in College Street and yet the cycleway is largely unused. Last Friday afternoon I witnessed an altercation between a driver and two cyclists at the William Street lights.

Something needs to be done. College Street is dangerous for cyclists and for drivers.

If the cycleway is badly designed and in the wrong place, admit defeat and move it so that it can be used, otherwise get rid of the cycleway. What is the point of retaining a cycleway that is not used?

Finally, if the cycleway is to be retained, then cyclists should be forced to use it.

13 Insurers Down to 7

As at June 1998, there were 13 insurers licensed to issue greenslips in NSW. Today there are 7 licensed insurers.

The licensed insurers are AAMI, Allianz, CIC Allianz, GIO, NRMA, QBE & Zurich.

The 7 insurers are controlled by 5 companies. Suncorp owns GIO and AAMI. Allianz also owns CIC Allianz.

In the current debate about insurer profitability we need to keep sight of the fact that the State Government can not afford for any of the current insurers to withdraw from the scheme.

A reduction in the number of insurers, or companies which own them, could reduce competition, placing even greater pressure on greenslip prices.

Sydney Cycleways and Greenslips

What is it about cycleways in the Sydney CBD? Cycleways have been installed at the expense of pedestrians and motorists. I think there is an issue with the design and location of the cycleways and I think there is an issue with the fact that cyclists do not bother to use them. It is rare to see a cyclist on the Kent street cycleway. Travelling south along College Street of an afternoon it is positively dangerous as cyclists compete with motor vehicles, running alongside an unused cycleway.

Perhaps cyclists need some encouragement to use cycleways. One way to encourage cyclists onto cycleways may be to legislate that cyclists injured in an accident with a motor vehicle do not have access to benefits under the CTP greenslip scheme if the accident occurred adjacent to a cycleway that the cyclist could or should have been using!

Change to Demerit Points

Premier Kristina Keneally this week has announced changes to the demerit points scheme and changes to the requirement for signage for mobile speed cameras.

Unrestricted licence holders will receive one additional demerit point for a total of thirteen and professional drivers will receive an additional two demerit points for a total of fourteen.

The period to which points apply will remain at three years.

Demerit points will be reduced or removed for twenty-two driving offences.

Warning signs must be positioned at least fifty metres before vehicles containing mobile speed cameras and those vehicles must be signposted and marked in bright colours.

The News Release from the Premier setting out the changes is available on this site.