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Changes to NSW Road Rules from 1 November 2012

The NSW Government has released a booklet setting out changes to the Road Rules to come into effect from 1 November 2012.

A copy of the Road Rules booklet is available on the RMS website.

The changes generally simplify or clarify existing rules.

Main changes

Most notable road rules are the following:

1. Use of mobile phones whilst your vehicle is not parked.

  • You can use a mobile phone for calls or to use the audio playing function if the phone is secured in a fixed mounting or, if not in a mounting use of the phone will not require you to touch or manipulate the phone in any way.
  • You must not hold a mobile phone in your hand and all other functions such as messaging and emailing are prohibited.
  • If you want to use the GPS function on your phone, you can only do so if the phone is secured in a commercially designed and manufactured fixed mounting and if it is positioned so as not to distract or obscure your view.  This also applies to any other type of GPS device.
  • Learner and P1 drivers are not allowed to use any function of a phone.

2. Signalling at roundabouts.

  • You are required to give sufficient warning of your intention before you enter a roundabout.
  • When leaving a roundabout, you are required to signal a left turn just before you exit.

3. Carrying animals on motorbikes.

  • You are not allowed to carry an animal on a motorbike between you and the handlebars.
  • Animals are not yet required to wear crash helmets!!!

CTP Pricing Strategy

The Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) is preparing a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Pricing Strategy to be released late in 2012.

A copy of the Terms of Reference for the Pricing Strategy, approved by the NSW Minister for Finance and Services, is available here.

It is envisaged that the strategy will determine the future direction of the scheme. Terms of Reference focus on lower premiums, lower costs and optimum benefits within an affordable model. The MAA says “preparation of the strategy will address key issues to ensure the Green Slip Scheme remains equitable, affordable and sustainable into the future”.

Terms of Reference

Specifically the Terms of Reference include examination of:

  1. Improvements to premium regulation for equitable but not excessive insurer profit margins.
  2. Improvements to insurer supervision and market acquisition practices to ensure premiums are sufficient but not excessive.
  3. Optimising the basis of premium setting for different vehicle classes, having regard to risk and affordability.
  4. Opportunities to promote price competition.
  5. Ensuring the MCIS Levy is applied fairly and that services funded by it are delivered efficiently.
  6. Process improvements to improve claims management and dispute resolution.
  7. Transparency of legal fees and other scheme costs to optimise benefits received by injured people.
  8. Simplification of the claims process.
  9. Strategies to leverage better medical cost pricing and practices.

Detailed analysis

Focus areas for detailed analysis, identified by the MAA, are:

  1. Market design
  2. Premium regulation
  3. Government expenditure
  4. Benefits design
  5. Claims management processes.

The pricing strategy will be developed through research, consideration of earlier reviews and consultation with stakeholders and the public.

Suggestions can be submitted to ctpstrategy@maa.nsw.gov.au.