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
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.

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.


A frustrated motorcyclist

ACC - motorcycling as a social activity. Levelling the playing field with cyclists.

, posted: 29-Oct-2009 23:20

Its unfair to single out cyclists but as motorcyclists are in the ACC's crosshairs I suppose anyone is fair game.  However some information about cycling injuries forms a good basis for analysis.

At the heart of the matter is the cost of injuries for motorcyclists and the requirement for the ACC to fully fund their costs.  According to the ACC the cost to society is $319m (source: 2010/11 Consultation document) although this includes the pre-1999 claim which constitutes ~50% of the overall levy ($213 of the $417 per vehicle levy). So the actual post-1999 annual cost to society is $160m.

An interesting number given the estimated cost to society for cycling accidents is $172m (source: Ministry of Transport cycle factsheet).  Rather than share this cost across the estimated 1.3m cyclists (which would be $132 per annum and which is not considerably more than the post-1999 levy for passenger vehicles) this is funded from the Earners Account or by the 2,054,000 income earners. 

To me this says I pay $83 per annum for the privilege of cyclists to enjoy their pastime on and off New Zealand roads.  But the cyclist that you see whizzing past you on the way to work tomorrow (and using the road rather than the cycleway in the weekend) doesn’t contribute 1 red cent to my pastime of motorcycling at the weekend to enjoy an orange juice or latte at some idyllic location. 


So what is an equitable solution? 

As the ACC is a no-liability scheme I think that all motorcyclists, nay all road users whether they be passenger or goods service vehicles, should pay a flat fee.  There are two possible solutions:  share all costs across all vehicles which lifts the ACC levy to $417 per annum OR apportion some of the motorcycle levy to the Earners Account to reflect the sport/recreation element of motorcycling (similar to cyclists). 

If one were to charge motorcyclists an amount equal to the proposed passenger vehicle of $313 per annum then this leads to, by the ACC calculations, a deficit of $280m to the motor vehicle account. This is roughly $137 per earner per annum (less than $3 per week) or 0.3 cents per $100 earned.


The ACC levy rort - targetting motorcyclists

, posted: 27-Oct-2009 14:18

Another weekend, another example of the travesty proposed by the ACC.
An accident that appears to be caused by a car driver.  And yet all motorcyclists are expected to pay for that car drivers mistake. 

You'll note that the accident is not related to the size of his motorcycle and yet the proposed levy is.

Is the ACC a no-liability scheme?  Or not?  If motorcyclists pay then why not cyclists - their burden to the ACC when they are hit by a car must be as great. 
How about pedestrians? 
Weekend sports players? 

Who is next?

"A man and a toddler were critically injured after a car was forced into the path of a motorbike yesterday near Huntly.
The 3-year-old was due to be transferred from Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit to the Starship hospital in Auckland last night and the 52-year-old male motorcyclist was in a serious condition, and to undergo surgery.
Initial analysis by the Waikato police serious crash unit indicated the southbound car had tried to turn across State Highway 1 about 3pm and was shunted in the rear, forcing it into the path of the motorcycle."
 NZ Herald 26 October 2009

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