This video shows the start of the Ulysses Protest Ride against the PROPOSED LEVY INCREASE FOR MOTORCYCLE REGISTRATIONS in New Zealand. This ride was held in Christchurch New Zealand on the 14th of Novemeber 2009, starting at the Southern end of Coloumbo St and ended up in Cathedral Square, Centre of the City, where various people spoke out against the Levy Increase. Photos on our web site at www.ulysses.org.nz/canterbury
Copy of a letter used:
I believe the huge increase proposed for ACC levies associated with motorcycle registrations are both grossly unfair, and inappropriate. It is certainly true that motorcyclists are at greater risk of personal injury than other motorists, and that in the event of any incident it is more likely that any motorcyclist involved will require an ACC payout. Other factors should however see the total ACC costs shared more evenly by all road users as they are at present. I would draw your attention to the following:
Virtually all older motorcyclists are both car & motorcycle owners. They already contribute to ACC costs before paying an even larger motorcycle ACC fee. Many also contribute further by owning several motorcycles (as I do). Motorcycle sharing is minimal in these circumstances and is usually limited in practice by conditions associated with the motorcycle insurance cover paid for.
Accident statistics placing fault with motorcyclists are almost certainly distorted. An injured motorcyclist is never any match for an uninjured car driver (who often has a passenger present), when it comes to presenting the facts to the police. (I have personally accepted blame for an accident when it later became clear the truck trailer had crossed in to my lane to hit me. I was never able to view this for myself.)
Most experienced motorcyclists are extremely wary of other motorists not giving way to them & claiming to Not see them. This is self evident when one compares the voluntary high visibility measures taken by many cyclists & motorcyclists, and the total indifference towards such measures taken by normal car drivers. (I applaud of course the clear markings used by police, ambulance fire & similar service vehicles.)
The huge licence fees proposed would of course greatly reduce motorcycle usage on NZ roads and increase car usage further. How can this be appropriate at a time when climate change will soon force all of us into more carbon neutral forms of transport, of which motorcycles are one viable option?
In the revision of these licence fee splits, has due consideration been given to injuries to cyclists, pedestrians and children milling around motor vehicles? It is possible for motorcycles to contribute to these injury statistics, but actual incidents must be quite rare.
Recent studies in the US have found that the closest correlation to the accident rate in all circumstances relates to the volumes of road usage. (This is hardly a surprise.) The most effective way of collecting additional ACC revenue, reducing ACC payouts, reducing the costs of new roading, and minimizing our carbon footprint is to increase fuel costs. This seems simple and obvious to me, and would probably even allow some offset against income tax with government involvement.
I respectfully submit that the above points have not been fairly considered, and that current policies leading to increasing road usage, larger personal transport vehicles (such as SUVs) and the licencing of larger truck & trailer units for use on New Zealands quite limited roading system are what should be under consideration at this time.