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[NSW]MCC meeting - 5 Feb 07

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by gegvasco, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. In the interests of disseminating information here are some of the issues raised at last evenings meeting:

    Last year the NSW Democrats in the upper house forced through a bill making the state government fund the MCC for the tune of $20K per year, despite resistance, for motorcycle awareness campaigning.

    The MCC Chairman(Guy Stanford) is/was meeting with the Roads Minister and boss of the RTA today/tomorrow to discuss motorcycle issues. Importantly, it looks like the "consultation", which previously constituted the RTA talking direct to the MCC and then ignoring everything while claiming they had consulted riders, will now involve the relevant minister which means the MCC won't be as conveniently forgotten by the RTA. During this meeting Guy will be requesting a huge further injection to the MCC funding.

    At the last meeting, a case was raised of a rider and a pillion who had a serious accident when the valve on the rear tyre exploded at 100kph. The pillion was seriously injured and their CTP company refused to cover the pillion. The MCC raised the issue with the Motor Accident Authority that regulates CTP in NSW. Their response was that the insurer was correct because CTP does not cover no-fault accidents ie. where there is no-one AT ALL that is to blame then CTP doesn't apply!
    As this case was mechanical fault not caused by the rider, there is no-one to blame. Apparently the same could apply for wildlife causing accidents in cases where the Police say no-one is at fault. Because people are running foul of this fairly regularly, this is supposed to change in October where no-fault accidents will also be covered. Will this cause another hike in CTP across both cars and bikes? Maybe.

    TOLLS Our favourite subject - NOT!!!! The state government has finally come out and said to the MCC what we all knew - that they have no control over tolls. So they said to go and hassle the toll companies. So now because the MCC is lobbying a private enterprise as opposed to a government department, there is even less likelihood of getting any relief from the governing body. The only hope is that similar to the M4/5 cashback and the compensation for rescinded road closures around toll roads, the state government in effect pays a shadow toll for you. The company can't be out of pocket as it is a contractual requirement that they aren't disadvantaged. This ain't going to happen for motorbikes given our lack of lobbying power. One theory that is taking hold(not officially endorsed by the MCC) is that now that it is a case of us V a commercial enterprise, time to do whatever we can to make it financially unviable to levy bikes they way they do now.

    Check the individual toll companies to confirm because I think there are some differences between how they charge admin fees but if you have an e-tag, go through the e-lanes but don't have the tag on you. For one, they aren't designed for bikes and two if you have it on your person it is dangerous. The toll companies have a hard time retrieving the plate because as with everything else, the design didn't include motorbikes and the cameras struggle with our smaller number plates. The OCR software often fails to read the plate so someone has to manually read the plate after blowing it up and mucking around with it. They then have to look up your details from the rego database. But they can't store this info thanks to privacy laws so every time you go through a camera they have to go through this whole process. The only exception being if you have an e-tag from the company that actually runs that toll road eg. Roam then all your data is ready to go. But this all takes time and people which costs them money. When you get the notice in the mail(if you do), write your e-tag details on the form and send it back. Here you can send it reply paid so they even have to pay for the postage. If this all starts stacking up maybe they will look at a better way of tolling motorbikes - probably with a better e-tag.

    Finally on tolls, the MCC has asked a few riders who use multiple toll roads daily to run this procedure and calculate the number of times they haven't been billed in the mail. One rider reckons that out of about 300 toll gate passes, he received about 90 bills. That brings the average toll paid per trip down to about what the MCC is lobbying for - 1/4 that paid by cars. Warning though, if you don't have an e-tag or your e-tag doesn't have enough cash in it to cover the toll, you will cop the admin fee as well which can be 5 times the original toll on top of the toll.

    OLD ROADHere's a great one for those of you who have a special place in your heart for the Highway Patrol that work the Old Road. The much publicised $750,000 to be spent on road safety on the old road has finally been directed to a task. The Highway Patrol tried to snaffle the funds to build new pull-over bays to make room for them to set up stop points for booking "motorists ie. riders. They also wanted the money to build more U-turn bays so they had more options for using on the move radars and U-turning to chase. This is their idea of road safety improvements. The local council came to the rescue and gave them the middle digit salute. The council will now be using the money to improve road surfaces, improve line marking and to widen centre dividers where possible to reduce head-ons at the apex of corners. How is that for a great win for riders! THANK YOU LOCAL COUNCIL!

    PUTTY ROADI have heard reports(from booked riders who asked the cops who pulled them over) that the Highway Patrol are starting to blitz the entire length of the Putty. The MCC is still talking to the Singleton Inspector about what they can do to improve rider safety and it has nothing to do with this new Highway Patrol initiative. So will have to wait and see how this pans out, but look out in the meantime.

  2. Thanks for the update Greg. Nice to see a motorcycling lobby group actually doing some constructive work rather than bickering and infighting.

    Bloody good news about the Old Road...
  3. Good see that there's some sort of ministerial involvement in regards to consultation. Good ol RTA, always there for motorcyclists :butt:
  4. That is a great report. Good to know what is going on.
  5. Top news about the Old Road!

    Cheers the update :)

    Would it be possible for 4 bikes riding in close formation to get through with a single toll-pass???

    ... we should start getting our top-gun formations on.
  6. You can be my wing-man anytime!!!
  7. In regards to getting more than one vehicle through, it shouldn't work. You should have heard the story the MCC Chairman told about the rider who almost had the Police called on him for arcing up at a toll gate. He had an e-tag, came up to the boom operated pay/e-tag lane, waved his tag but it didn't register. He tried waving it again. No good. But then because of the cars behind him, he couldn't move the bike back to reset the sensors(they measure vehicle size by laser and compare to the e-tag to ensure correct toll is being paid) and therefore even after the e-tag registered it wouldn't raise the gate because it couldn't verify the vehicle type! The toll collector said he would have to pay cash. He refused on principle. 10 minutes later(imagine the chaos that caused with the cars behind him) they were threatening to call the cops as he launched into a diatribe about it being their problem, not his etc. Eventually they let him through and recorded his rego to send him a bill.

    So trying to run multiple bikes through a gate will probably trigger the camera, the picture from which I'm sure will be sent to the cops.
  8. what about the parking issues in the Sydney CBD? Has it been raised at the meeting last night? :?
  9. Not specifically at the last meeting but it is still high on the agenda. The following link shows you what is being done leading up to the election. The "briefing notes" document on the right has been given to all the politicians and wanna-be politicians and within that document Parking is one of the big issues.

    MCC NSW Election site
  10. Thanks for the info gegvasco and also making the effort many only talk about :oops:

    Tolls - as I don't commute on the bike, and if I have a trip across town I'll often ride. I've checked my diary against the statement a few times and I very rarely get charged. Recently got one for the KLR (I hadn't transferred rego) for the Harbour tunnel. Rang up and no admin fee - just the $3. I don't understand why bikes aren't free. My bike weighs 140kg, around one tenth the weight of a car yet (sometimes :wink: ) pay the same charge. Toll Companies will never give up cashflor as that is what their business is all about.

    Good news on the Old Road, although I now join/leave it at Brooklyn and just do the 80kmh bit.
  11. Yeah, one of the arguments the MCC has always held in regards to tolling of motorbikes is that the argument that they can't just rescind the toll because it has been factored into the contract revenue is bullshit. Bikes were never factored into any toll contract since the Harbour Tunnel opened. So the tolls they have expected were for everything but bikes and anything they do get now from bikes is above what they were entitled to! The M5 is getting more than projected contract revenue which you could argue is because bikes are getting ripped off!

    Of course, that argument is never going to get us anywhere so a more pragmatic view has been taken. The MCC has put forward a case that bikes take up about 1/4 the space, can be up to 1/4 the weight and on average are about 1/4 the engine capacity so we should pay 1/4 the car toll. This would realign it comparatively(not in actual dollars and cents)to what the toll on the Harbour Bridge was before the tunnel opened - 20c for cars and 5c for bikes. Even though places like Vic don't charge tolls on bikes, that ain't going to happen here. I would say the best end game we could ever realistically hope for(and even this would be at a stretch) would be for the tolls to drop to 1/4 and for a new e-tag designed specifically for bikes.
  12. Go hassle the private companies huh? Now that the harbour tunnel is going cashless on July 8, does that mean we can hassle the government since they are it's operators?
  13. Everyone knows that would wasting your time. Private enterprise, when backed up by a contract with the government, will never bow to lobbying pressure. They will always refer complaints to the government. That is what happened with the Cross-City tunnel. And as far as I'm concerned, that is a fair call for a private enterprise. It is the government that enters into these ^&*ed out contracts that should feel the pain. But, this is NSW and this state just voted these same pricks back in again.
  14. Glad I am not the only one wondering about that..........
    Also good to see the MCC doing some good work, if this keeps up, I may have to join.

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. Actually, you can't join the MCC. Anyone can come along and help out but to be a formal member you have to be endorsed by a registered motorcycle club/organisation. That club/organisation, once recognised by the MCC, is allowed to nominate 2 reps. Those reps are then eligible to take up committee positions and vote.

    Despite repeated efforts, I couldn't get the President of the Defence Force motorcycle association(ADFMA) to actually write a letter to the MCC endorsing me, even though he was happy for me to take up the position. So I haven't been able to take up positions or vote. But I have still worked the MCC stand at the bike show and was one of the team that worked the election for the MCC by lobbying all the candidates on bike issues. So they are more than happy for anyone to come along to the meetings and help out. You can still make a big impact without being a rep.