Putting it in perspective


A call to arms: Civil Disobedience

, posted: 10-Dec-2009 08:07

This email I received from a another motorcyclist highlights a lot of good ideas.  I may consider adopting some or all of the thoughts - and I will surely be sending a copy to the Chairman.




Mr John Judge
Chairman
Accident Compensation Corporation
PO Box 242
Wellington 6140



Dear Sir

As a result of your levy proposals unfairly targeting motorcycles I will not be registering my vehicle for the road in 2010 and beyond. 

I am a law-abiding rider with many years and kilometres of recreational riding experience.  For each of those years I have faithfully registered and fully insured my vehicle to cover myself and my fellow road users.  I have even paid a parking fine on time and in full without question.

Now, as a result of your proposals, I will choose to deliberately flout the law and accept the consequences of driving illegally on New Zealand roads.  This is not a decision I take lightly given the implications it has for both myself and my fellow road users.

Traffic violations
Should I be caught driving an unregistered vehicle or incur any other traffic infringement I will choose to contest this in court in an effort to deliberately slow the process AND increase the cost to the State to enforce any penalty.  Regardless of whether my fellow motorcyclists choose to adopt my actions with respect to registration I call upon them to contest any traffic violation in court to deliberately increase the cost to the State.  I’m certain that gratitude to you from the Ministry of Justice will be forthcoming.

This also increases the likelihood that I will choose not to stop for any violation of the law.  And I’m sure that you’ll recognise the increased risk of damage to both property and person of myself and third parties from a police pursuit.  Luckily I have the ACC to fall back upon should I become injured or killed as a result of such an action.   And I recognise the increased burden to the State from investigation both a serious crash and a police pursuit.  I’m sure that the New Zealand Police will similarly extend their gratitude to you for the changes in behaviour that you will have caused.

Insurance
As I will not be able to insure an unregistered vehicle this will result in increased risks for my fellow motorists should I be involved in an accident. 
* Any accident where I am not at fault will require me to deal directly with other parties to recover any reparation or, where no other vehicle is involved, will require my own financial contribution to repair my vehicle. 
* Any accident where I am at fault will require the third party to undertake court action to recover any reparation.  As I will not be in a financial position to “make whole” the third party I imagine that a small weekly payment for an extended period of time will have to suffice.

The increased burden to the private insurance industry will undoubtedly result in higher premiums for all motorists.  To the wider New Zealand public that choose to take motor vehicle insurance I extend my apologies.

Ironically I understand that my personal accident coverage will be unchanged regardless of whether I chose to register my vehicle or ride it illegally.   This suggests that I will join the other freeloading activities where personal health and rehabilitation are covered by the ACC without any additional payment by myself (beyond the ACC workers levy deducted at source to cover all other recreational accidents and injuries). 

I acknowledge that electing to take this course of action increases the “burden” on my fellow (and law abiding) motorcyclists as the “burden” that you chose to apportion directly on the motorcycle community will be spread across one fewer ACC levy payer.  Unfortunately as more and more motorcyclists choose to adopt a similar behaviour to my own it will result in a smaller and smaller pool across which to share the “burden”.  And will result in you increasing the ACC levy for motorcyclists at an increasing rate each year – further perpetuating the behaviour you have spawned. 

While I find your proposal to unfairly target motorcyclists (while allowing many other recreational activities to be completely subsidised by workers) abhorrent I must thank you for substantially increasing my disposable income.  From next year I will save more than $1,000 (more from when the ACC adopts its exorbitant and farcically derived new levies) in registration fees, ACC levies and insurance premiums.  This amount will not go unnoticed by my family who needs it more than does your organisation.


Signed





A frustrated motorcyclist



Other related posts:
ACC - motorcycling as a social activity. Levelling the playing field with cyclists.
The ACC levy rort - targetting motorcyclists






Comment by sbiddle, on 10-Dec-2009 10:57

So you believe the principals of ACC are wrong, ACC should be disbanded and the right to sue to all medical and incidental costs should be introduced into NZ law?

That's what your letter says to me..



 


Comment by ZollyMonsta, on 10-Dec-2009 11:27

Good luck to 'frustrated motorcyclist'.  I'm sure he/she will soon discover the above will be more detrimental to themselves than anyone else.  The government has big pockets.. bigger than any one person.


Author's note by ockel, on 10-Dec-2009 11:40

@ sbiddle

I dont think the principles of the ACC are wrong, in fact it is one of the unique and equitable planks of the NZ healthcare system.  Repealing it and replacing with the right to sue would be a backward step however if I was offered the opportunity to choose private insurance over ACC then I probably would take it.

My issue is with how ACC chooses to fund its obligations and specifically why one recreational activity must make a larger contribution than any other recreational activity.  My workers levy pays for all recreational injuries and yet the single recreational activity I choose to do requires me to dig into my pocket to pay an extra tax.  No one I have heard from can explain why this should be the case.

@Zollymonsta - there are plenty of motorcyclists I know that wont be registering their vehicle.  They could afford to get caught 4 times in a year before they're on the losing side of the ledger.  They're willing to take that risk.  If I ride only half the weekends in a year what are the chances I get caught on 4 of those 26 occasions?  Most weekends I dont even see a cop.


Comment by James, on 10-Dec-2009 12:05

Insurance Law Reform Act 1977, section 12, your friend should read it, lack of continuous vehicle licencing (registration), or indeed warrant does not have affect on insurance applicability, under law, unless either can be shown to have had a direct effect on the reason for the claim. "Sorry you crashed, but you had no registration so sod off" is not a legal response from an insurer, not having registration did not make you crash and an insurer is not legally allowed to decline a claim for that. As to his other comments, ACC doesn't give a crap if he wants to flout the law, it is not ACC's job to enforce the law. In any case, it's gone past ACC now, so appealing to ACC in my opinion is a waste of time, it's with government now, ACC have made the recommendations, it's up to government to put them into practice so it's government which must be lobbied to look at the numbers more closely and to not trust that which ACC decrees to be true.


Comment by sbiddle, on 10-Dec-2009 13:01

The workers levy does NOT pay for your recreational injuries. The workers levy pays for the working fund. They are totally different.

You do however pay ACC levies into the general fund which is deducted from your earnings. This however does not fund motor vehicles, both motorcycles and motor vehicle accidents are funded from their own fund. Currently motorcyclists are heavily subsisided by car owners, this change will address this issue.

Like most people clomplaining about ACC levies you totally fail to understand how ACC works.

ACC is great. is it sustainable in the long run however in it's current form? Probably not.


Author's note by ockel, on 10-Dec-2009 13:31

@sbiddle

Feel free to correct my information and please reference your source materials.  I will use both the ACC Annual Reports AND the Statement of Intent from their website.

The Work account (or Employers account) funds all workplace injuries.  It is funded by employer levies based on risk-assess categories of employment as a proportion of earnings.

The Earners Account (or Employees account) funds all non-workplace injuries (ie sport and home).  It is funded by employee levies as a proportion of employee earnings.  To my knowledge this fund pays for your recreational injuries.

The Motor Vehicle Account funds all personal injuries involving motor vehicles on public roads.  Funded by annual levy and petrol tax.  Interestingly it, by its definition, would fund injuriies between cyclists/pedestrians and motor vehicles on NZ roads however I cannot get the ACC to confirm this detail. 

If you'd like to quote opposing information or legislation that can help me better understand the ACC please feel free to do so. 

Otherwise please feel free to tell me why one group of recreationalists should be paying more than the rest?


Comment by kiwitrc, on 10-Dec-2009 16:49

I dont ride a bike, but I do wonder if all the true costs of people riding bikes have been truely factored in.  Just a few I can think of are the fuel savings and hence overseas exchange savings, parking savings and hence infrastructure savings, time savings by bike riders getting to work in rush hour and hence effeciency gains. I am sure someone has already done these and more but as yet havent seen them, and I am sure there are more.


Comment by sbiddle, on 10-Dec-2009 17:37

"The Motor Vehicle Account funds all personal injuries involving motor vehicles on public roads.  Funded by annual levy and petrol tax.  Interestingly it, by its definition, would fund injuriies between cyclists/pedestrians and motor vehicles on NZ roads however I cannot get the ACC to confirm this detail.  "

Exactly. And that's why your ACC levies you pay through your wages don't cover you while on your motorbike. You claim it's a recreational activity and should be covered. The reality is that it is not.

I have yet to see a single argument from any motorcyclist objecting to the levy increceases that is compelling enough to make me support the cause. You ride a bike, you pay the premiums that make up your fair share of the costs of providing cover for your activities. The average claim costs for a motorcyclist are (from memory) around $50000 vs $20000 for motor vehicles.

Why should I as a car owner subsidise your ACC levies?

As for your question about pedestrians - if they are involved in an incident where they are hit by a moving motor vehicle their costs are paid for my the motor vehicle levy. Any other pedestrian incidents or those not involving a moving vehicle come from the general fund.


Comment by Dratsab, on 10-Dec-2009 21:24

"there are plenty of motorcyclists I know that wont be registering their vehicle.  They could afford to get caught 4 times in a year before they're on the losing side of the ledger."You'll have to forgive if I'm wrong with the rego costs here as I don't have a motorcycle.  Looking at the NZTA website (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle/registration-licensing/fees.html), the current costs for registering for 12 months are shown as $321.24 for motorcycle over 61cc.  At $200 a pop + $135 court costs, by my reckoning you'd currently be on the losing side of the ledger after ONE ticket if you were caught out riding an unregistered vehicle.On top of that, if you aren't registered you can't get a WOF.  No WOF is another $200 fine.  potentially you could be fined $400 in one hit and if you contest it and lose you'll have the $135 court costs to pay as well.  So now we're up to a potential $535 in one go. We already know the levy increases are not going to be as substantial as first proposed  - for a motorcycle over 600cc you're going to pay about $170 more than now.  If the figure above is correct, that's a little shy of $500 per annum.Even if you only have the no rego offence to contend with after that date, to rack up two offences you'll have to get ticketed twice and, if you can get around defending each one seperately, you're still potentially liable for those court costs.  You will again be on the wrong side of the ledger.You'll also be wasting a lot of your personal time (better spent with family) and work time (boss may not be overly sympathetic) defending these charges.  Police wouldn't bat an eyelid over having to appear in court for those that choose to defend charges.  They get paid for it, as opposed to the defendants.At the end of the day, it's your decision and more power to you.  Just have a careful think about all the costs.


Comment by Dratsab, on 10-Dec-2009 21:27

"there are plenty of motorcyclists I know that wont be registering their vehicle.  They could afford to get caught 4 times in a year before they're on the losing side of the ledger."

You'll have to forgive if I'm wrong with the rego costs here as I don't have a motorcycle.  Looking at the NZTA website (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicle/registration-licensing/fees.html), the current costs for registering for 12 months are shown as $321.24 for motorcycle over 61cc.  At $200 a pop + $135 court costs, by my reckoning you'd currently be on the losing side of the ledger after ONE ticket if you were caught out riding an unregistered vehicle.

On top of that, if you aren't registered you can't get a WOF.  No WOF is another $200 fine.  potentially you could be fined $400 in one hit and if you contest it and lose you'll have the $135 court costs to pay as well.  So now we're up to a potential $535 in one go. 

We already know the levy increases are not going to be as substantial as first proposed  - for a motorcycle over 600cc you're going to pay about $170 more than now.  If the figure above is correct, that's a little shy of $500 per annum.

Even if you only have the no rego offence to contend with after that date, to rack up two offences you'll have to get ticketed twice and, if you can get around defending each one seperately, you're still potentially liable for those court costs.  You will again be on the wrong side of the ledger.

You'll also be wasting a lot of your personal time (better spent with family) and work time (boss may not be overly sympathetic) defending these charges.  Police wouldn't bat an eyelid over having to appear in court for those that choose to defend charges.  They get paid for it, as opposed to the defendants.

At the end of the day, it's your decision and more power to you.  Just have a careful think about all the costs.


Comment by Bung, on 11-Dec-2009 06:27

If some of the mid life crisis "recreational" riders could put as much thought into their riding as this campaign the accident figures wouldn't have become a political football. The costs are being loaded onto the licence fee because motorcyclists collectively aren't putting in the mileage to pay through the petrol levy. Sure car drivers are idiots and get in the way but some riders don't even try to be defensive.


Author's note by ockel, on 11-Dec-2009 08:40

@sbiddle

Please clarify your understanding off ACC funding:
"The workers levy does NOT pay for your recreational injuries. The workers levy pays for the working fund. They are totally different.

You do however pay ACC levies into the general fund which is deducted from your earnings."

My response:  "The Earners Account (or Employees account) funds all non-workplace injuries (ie sport and home).  It is funded by employee levies as a proportion of employee earnings.  To my knowledge this fund pays for your recreational injuries."

I am aware that motor vehicle levies go into the motor vehicle fund to cover accidents involving motor vehicles.

My earnings pay for recreational injuries.  Do you play any sport, cycle or undertake any recreational activity where you may get injured?  If so consider this example:

You pay $168pa for your vehicle to cover MVA's.  Your earnings (we'll call them the average wage of $49,500 pa) are deducted $841.50 for any recreational injuries you undertake.  I'll assume that you dont own a motorcycle.  For the purposes of this I'll ignore petrol levies as they're equivalent in both examples.  So you pay $1009.50 pa.  Most notably for protection when you're playing sport.

I dont play any sport or undertake any recreational activity.  My recreational activity is motorcycling.  So I pay $168 for my car, $253 for my motorcycle and $841.50 for your sport.  WTF do you pay for my recreational activity?  I pay $840 pa for your injury, rehab and income and you dont pay anything for my recreational activity. 

Sound fair?


@Dratsab - until midday yesterday we didnt have confirmation of the lower levies. You're right in that 2 infringements will overwhelm the total levy but at the proposed $750 plus the actual registration fee of $75 many would still take the chance. 

And BTW you dont need a rego to get a WOF.  But you do need a WOF to get a rego.


Comment by sbiddle, on 11-Dec-2009 09:26

Plain and simply you fail to understand ACC.

What is your interpretation of "recreational injuries?"

Recreational injuries covers anything you pay do. If you fall over while you're drunk walking home from the pub and break your nose and smash your teeth you're covered. Fall over hoping out of the shower and you're covered.

Just because you don't play sport means absolutely nothing. The bulk of injuries that are claimed for under ACC and deducted from the general fund occur at home, not outside the home.

You don't subsidise me in any way, shape or form. You are paying for no fault insurance care, if you don't claim and I do then it's as much a subsidy as a drive thru customer at McDonalds subsidising a dine in customer because they take up valuable seating space.


Comment by ockel, on 11-Dec-2009 16:14

@sbiddleCongrats on failing, once again, to provide any factual evidence for your claims.There is plenty of work-place injury data but information on sports injuries is harder to find.  If you spend sometime looking at the ACC injury statistics you'd know that sports accounted for $280m of claims in 2007/08 with $203m funded by the Earners account.    Home injuries accounted for $439m in the same period however only $253m of this was funded by the Earners accounts.  ie there might have been significantly more home-based accidents but for the non-earning population these were funded by the government.  Of course you'd also know that the cost of rugby injuries is $40m - compare that to the cost of motorcycle injuries at $62m.  For the record:  From the ACC's Injury Statistics 2008 the cost of claims for motorcycles is lower than all other groups (from the motor vehicle account).  And bear in mind that these are the ACC's own numbers:Cyclists: - 567 active claims - $12,573,000 - $22,174 per claim Pedestrians: - 1115 active claims - $24,494,000 - $21,967 per claim Car Occupants: - 8525 active claims - $208,305,000 - $24,434 per claim Motorcyclists: - 3173 active claims - $62,523,000 - $19,704 per claim


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