Who's Standing Up for Your Rights as a Motorist?
Not the NRMA.
(nor assumedly the RACV, RACQ etc)
Yet these organisations staffed by policy makers linked to the insurance empires are responsible for at least one recent rogering of their members.
I offer the NRMA to the critical judgement of the motoring public in NSW:
In 2003 the NRMA called for submissions from members on the demerit point scheme. It asked the usual questions about whether the system was too hard to understand, was it fair, and what improvements could be made to the system.
It is now well known that many groups and individuals made representations to the NRMA suggesting a fair review of demerit points and particularly removing the excessive penalties for very minor offences that really didn't affect road safety. Some of these submissions also called for graduated licence points to better protect professionals and drivers who had an extensive blemsih free record (for example, a driver under the current scheme could lose their licence in one long weekend for one traffic stop).
Further submissions provided extensive government published data (see ATSB) that renounced double demerits as a plain failure which did not in any way save lives or reduce accidents.
The NRMA subsequently issued a submission to the NSW Government that included ONLY the submissions that matched the preferred stance of their directors. The same stuffy, old, rich and limousine riding directors that have only once driven the Pacific Highway and not much else. The head of the NRMA Mr Malcolm Turnbull has been shown to spend dramatic amounts of money on charter planes and limousines proving he never drives.
Understandably the NSW RTA and NSW Government says that the NRMA represents the motorists of NSW and along with such groups as the PCA run by Harold Scruby (what he has to do with demerit points is a question that pains many observers) the findings of the report were not surprisingly to widely increase fines, demerit points, and lay excrement on the motorists of NSW.
The only body (NMAA) that even remotely suggested a focus on positive reinforcement for drivers and a balance of penalty increases and reductions (I hear Carl Scully choking on that one) was not invited to the review. Nor were any individual submissions actively considered in the review.
So, next time you get your NRMA renewal, what will you be thinking?
liar, li-er, n. one who tells lies, esp. habitually. Steve Bracks, Carl Scully and Bob Carr, MUARC.
nepotism, nepp-oh-tiz-em, v. the act of giving jobs to your mates, particularly to mis-represent the will of the people and promote your own lies. Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA), Harold Scruby, NSW RTA Road Safety group, NRMA.