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A crazy idea for our TAC levy...

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Tenoq, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Despite falling temperatures in Victoria over the past few weeks, it seems that the number of motorcyclists still riding around without basic safety gear is as high as ever! My daily commute sees many riders wearing t-shirts, shorts, sneakers or combinations of the above on various types of machinery - from scooters to the latest 1000cc RRRRR. It occurred to me (as I grudgingly nodded to another of these nutters) that perhaps there is a solution to this problem - and a way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

    At present, all Victorian motorcyclists are paying a hefty levy (about $62 at the moment, I believe) in addition to already high TAC fees each year - a discriminatory fee only motorcyclists pay. This is justified to us with a number of reasons: the main ones being that more needs to be done to improve rider safety (and so the money goes towards 'research'); and also that we cost the TAC more in the event of an accident, and so should contribute more.

    It was this second reason that gave me this idea:

    What if our levy amount could be instead spent on safety gear each year? Or, taking it a step further, could be used in additional training?

    This way, regardless of the levy amount, the Government could encourage riders to improve their own safety by purchasing approved equipment or rider training courses, instead of just paying more tax. The benefits of this are obvious:
    - more riders in appropriate gear;
    - better trained riders;
    - happier riders who can actually see a REAL benefit to the TAC levy;
    - less riders in our over-worked hospital beds;
    - shorter stays for those admitted; and,
    - lower costs to the TAC for motorcycle accidents.

    How this system could be implemented I'm not sure - but it's a similar system to the one employed on a federal level for private health insurance: earn $50k, pay $500 Medicare or get your own private health care. Despite have to pay more, people can see real value in getting private health cover when they're earning more money. Motorcyclists would feel the same - despite paying more for their registrations each year, they can see a real value in buying new safety gear or more training instead.

    I'd appreciate some comments from Netriders on whether you think this proposal is worthwhile, whether it is workable or whether we should just stick with the current 'discriminatory tax' system. :)

    You thoughts please!
  2. Not a bad idea, but I'd say they'd use these two arguments against it:

    1) The levy is currently spent on safety initiatives that benefit the maximum number of riders possible: road repairs and signage on motorcycle blackspots, sealing of gravel shoulders on known motorcycle destination roads like the GOR, reworking of repairs and drainage holes etc that have not been done to bike-friendly standards. Letting people buy gloves with it helps only one person, and even then only if they wear the gloves. Plenty of people who own full protective gear don't wear it.

    2) The government's position on rider training in the past has been that the better skilled the riders are, the higher the speeds at which they tend to wipe themselves out.
  3. Well in response, I'd say all riders benefit - they all have to buy safety gear or they just pay the levy. But you are right that many would just not wear it, which would defeat the purpose of the whole exercise. There's very little we can do about that, other than rider training... which of course is the other option! In regards to how they currently use the levy - well I've seen no real benefit, and certainly nothing that costs $60 per motorcycle registration - many other riders feel the same way. Building safe roads for everyone is something that should be done regardless of your mode of transport - why should we pay extra to make roads safer for everyone?

    But I digress - the discussion isn't about the (il)legitimacy of the levy. Your second point really can't be countered - you can't argue with an idiot. Is there any evidence to suggest that position is valid?
  4. Spending the rider levy on riders is a bit outlandish. You've got that useless CD in the mail, you know, the one your coffee cup is sitting on right now... what more do you want?

    Better off spending our levy on fixing up roads that are unsafe for bikes due to basic road engineering flaws, and damage to the surface caused by cars and trucks. That sounds a bit more fair.

    Yours Sincerely
    P Batchelor & S Bracks
  5. Call me stupid, but the TAC money is spent on hospitalisation & rehab for people injured on the road.

    I think it is being spent wisely now and should stay as it is!

    It's all well and good to propose using it differently if you have never needed to make a TAC claim and use the insurance provided, but ask someone who's family has relied on it to keep the house they live in or to help someone learn to walk & talk again, if they would like it to be spent on riders safety gear, for riders who are clearly too stupid to realise that they need it to prevent certain injuries in the first place. F#ck 'em!
  6. totally agree with you in regard to general TAC charge, but the $50 motorcycle levy doesn't go into this. It is used on "safety initiatives" which include some roadworks, the production of the Cd, the sandpaper direct mail campaign, and certain studies etc. I think we can debate the best way to spend that, because it doesn't ever get spent on rehab.
    By the way, the TAC is presently sitting on an ever-growing surplus of funds it has collected for rehab and compensation, but doesn't really know what to do with. It's not allowed by law to put it into general revenue, and it's not supposed to be a for-profit organisation.
  7. As Titus said, I'm not talking about general TAC funds, I'm talking about the additional fee motorcyclists have to pay each year on top of the standard TAC charge. This is a levy for motorcyclists alone: so why not use it to make motorcycling safer?
  8. Well you victorians just better crash a bit more to use up the funds... :LOL:
  9. OK, my mistake, I didn't realise this was a TAC levy, just a motorcycle levy. Regardless, if people aren't smart enough to buy gear for themselves then they probably won't wear free stuff anyway. Why try to subsidise stupid people? Best way to reduce road trauma is teach the riders how to avoid the accident in the first place rather than cover them up for when it happens.
  10. I reckon they'll need that cash when they have to pay out all their employees in the move to Geelong... :wink:
  11. Well that's a valid suggestion too - and less wasteful than I believe it currently is. Why not use it to directly fund compulsory training? As you said yourself, people are stupid - if they don't have a choice though, you might get them learning a little more about how to protect themselves.

    That said, you might also get a mild increase in the number of unregistered/unlicensed riders, who refuse/can't do the training. :p
  12. Couldn't agree less.

    The levy should be p1ssed off and NEVER replaced. YOU should have the choice as to what you wear and how much EXTRA training you do and spend money on it, or not.
  13. The choice of what you wear yes.

    The choice of learning properly how to ride before you get a licence should be compulsory. You can't seriously believe that knowing how to turn left and right and stop in front of a red light that you know is coming is adequate preparation for riding on the road? Some of the people I saw pass their licence test when I did mine should NOT be on the road and I would not be suprised if one or more of them either don't ride any more or have been in serious accidents since. Extra training should be at your own discretion, but the compulsory training to get your licence should be WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY better.
  14. i don't think i know enough or have been riding long enough or know the statistics in terms of what the total income off this particular levy be, but I do think it could possibly be justified, (or justified by TAC) that all motorists pay a levy of some sort, but the % of income spent on traffic accidents in particular (not prevention), would be fairly minimal. Motorcycling is a choice, but one who's percentage of generated income through this is probably minimal compared to the %age of accidents which require TAC or similar coverage.

    my point being:

    for whatever reason it is there, most people aren't aware of it. if trying to remove it. BANG! More cars than motorcycles why should we have to pay for them.

    I don't think it is fair but i think it's easy to justify and difficult to remove.
  15. That argument never washes with me. Where do you draw the line? Can I say I don't want to pay my Medicare levy to support smokers? What about supporting grandma who is in and out of the clinic every week, all free thanks to Medicare? Why should I pay for her?

    The system is there so that all contribute equally for the good of society as a whole. Taxing one particularly group is discriminatory and unfair - just like it would be unfair to ask the elderly to pay twice as much for Medicare because they use the service more.

    I don't think it's easy to justify.
  16. The ONLY way to do this is to add a levy for ALL road users and make them ALL attend defensive driving/riding classes.
  17. I'm down with that, I don't think being able to drive around the block of the local VicRoads office and do a reverse park really qualifies as ready for the road either.
  18. I think the idea of taking your reciept for safety gear into vicroads and getting a refund would be viable... (obviosly they would have to stamp the reciept to state it has been presented for refund so a bunch of people couldn't all use teh same reciept) As ofor squids getting the refund then not using the gear... what gear can you buy for $62? SFA so for squids who arn't going to wear gear, it would be cheaper to just give the Government there cash and deal with it.

    That's just my thoughts on the matter...
  19. actually i was thinking yesterday... in terms of weight motorcycles put down, average it out to say 8 times less. in terms of tyre contact, say 3 times less (yes i know the 2 vs 4 wheel thing but in terms of actual width)... so maybe the registration can be dropped down a considerable bit, or if it does stay the same, less of those $$ actually go to registration, and more toward the TAC for safety programs for motorcycles including things like courses for riders etc, provided some is there for existing riders and not everything goes to new riders

    If you were paying that levy but it was more beneficial than a cd and some kind of mail i got after getting my Ls that i threw out, would it be such a hassle?

    Maybe the fee wouldn't be so bad if it had an obvious effect?

    I dunno.
  20. Given that the TAC money is an insurance policy that we must all buy, why isn't it effected by my driving record, age, advanced training etc as any other insurance policy is?