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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 no longer available.

Greenslip price hike for under 30s

Hi I’m 29 years old. My greenslip renewal slip from AAMI for this year quoted me $421.00 which is exactly $100 more than what I paid for last year. I did an online quote on this website and all other insurers quoted around the same price. NRMA is the cheapest at $2.08 less than AAMI. Unusual for NRMA to be cheaper than AAMI, might have been the fact that I’m an NRMA member. I’m obviously a year older now and a bit wiser than I was last year so why I am getting slugged a hundred bucks more despite the fact that I have a 65% maximum no claim bonus rating, driving for more than 10 years and no accidents in the last 5. Does that not have any bearing at all?

Are insurance companies not making enough money as it is?? I checked this website earlier and it did explain that insurance companies changed the age threshold for high risk drivers from under 25’s to under 30’s. I also did another online quote on this website and put my age as 30. Voila! GIO gave me the cheapest quote at $356.68 and with the best cover. But still – I am paying less when I was 28 than I will be at 30. This does not make any sense to me at all. This exercise only proved the fact that I am still a year away from being in the “non-high risk” category. There’s an emerging pattern here. When I was 24, I longed to be 25 so I can pay less insurance. Now that I’m over 25, I’m still paying more! Now I long to be 30 so I can pay less. But what’s next??

Let me guess, insurance companies will change the high risk category to under 35’s?? Why is my age group being targetted?? Fair enough there’s a handful of hoons in my newly expanded age group but there’s also a lot of sensible drivers in this age group that do not deserve to be punished for a handful of people being stupid. Is it my own fault I was born in 1979? Is it our fault that the RTA gave a passing mark to these drivers that had accidents on NSW roads? There is clearly some degree of prejudice here. At this rate, there will probably come a time that I’m already 55 and I’m still in the high risk category. Then I’m just a few years away from another high risk category – the mature age group. (Now I’m not very sure about this, please correct me if I am wrong.) Insurance companies – clean up your act. Stop taking us ordinary motorists for a ride and expecting us to just cop it in the chin. We only want what is fair.