ETAGS FOR MOTORCYCLES...


THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR MOTORCYCLISTS,
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO MAY USE AN ETAG




Major Points

* Riders are happy to pay a fair toll, but not by discriminatory and unsafe methods.

* Terms and Conditions for any E-tag insist that if you don't use their mounting hardware, then you agree to additional fees if it fails to read.

* No motorway will sell an E-tag to a motorcycle, you have to apply for your car and have the motorcycle numberplate added to the account. That way they avoid liability if the E-tag has problems - i.e. you get charged fees and there is nothing you can do about it.

* There is no separate classification for motorcycles in National or State transport planning.

* When contracts are written for private toll roads, there was no requirement to plan for motorcycles, hence no appropriate technology.

* When the Harbour Tunnel opened, August 31, 1992, that was the day we had our quarter-of-car-rate toll removed. Simply because there was no classification for motorcycles. At the same time, the classification requires pushbikes to be tolled at the same rate as a car too.

* The toll rate is four times higher than reasonable.

* CCM have not contacted MCC of NSW at all, yet the M7 negotiated a fee-free method nearly a year ago and its not due to open for months. We're in the 'phone book.

* "Extensive consultations" with riders by CCM ???? Bulldust, they found some riders and lured them "to have a look at the armband" - straight into a press conference to launch it.

* This is a smelly bandaid solution by some idiot middle manager "saving the day" for their employer, with no consultation and no risk review.

* And just where "in Europe" is this armband E-tag holder being used? Another fairytale.

* Riders who won't wear the armband are to be slugged "administrative fees" every trip $1.60 on top of toll.

* CCM are attempting to shift the blame to riders.

* CCM have failed to provide a workable solution, hence are discriminating against one class of road user

* CCM are expecting riders to pay for the failure of technology installed by CCM

Hostile Public Relations by CCM is demanding that riders compromise their safety to increase profits.

With no motorcycles considered in planning, all income from riders is "bonus" income anyway - no motorcycles have been included in traffic counts, so there was no cash projection that included income from motorcycles.

Riders are happy to pay a toll and would love to use a sensible cashless tolling system.

The correct RATE of toll.



Armbands are for funerals

With the impending opening of the cross-city tunnel, I was impressed to hear that there would finally be a solution to the problem of motorcycles being able to use the cashless roads. Finally, I thought, a high tech solution had been found. How horrified I was when the solution turns out to be an e-tag held in place by a black armband!

Tolls on these new roads are per vehicle, not on the number of passengers. Currently cars and motorcycles are charged the same toll on other toll roads. Imagine if toll road users were charged by the number of passengers? Imagine each of the passengers in those vehicles having an e-tag strapped to their limbs by a black armband? Ridiculous isn't it! That's why the tag is attached to the vehicles windscreen.

Why then is it a requirement that motorcyclists will need to carry a device strapped to their body which is capable of shattering upon impact causing further injury? A device that will need to be replaced at the motorcyclists expense if damaged, even by water (Oh, did I mention that these devices are not waterproof?). Surely in these technological times, someone can produce a better alternative than this!

Some may say it's a choice as to whether you use the toll road or a free alternative, however in terms of motorcycles this is another level of discrimination because the technology can't produce a safe, equitable system for a viable alternative to the motor car. Interestingly, the M7 has yet to open, yet has already negotiated a fee-free alternative for motorcycles.

The Melbourne toll roads do not charge motorcycles, as they have not worked out a way to provide such an alternative. Motorcyclists are quite willing to pay an equitable toll, providing there is a safe alternative to the e-tag in an armband.

If I want to wear an armband, Ill be at a funeral. I'd prefer it wasn't my own, brought on by the stupidity of the cross-city tunnel boffins who haven't put technology to work.

Toll the vehicle, not the person!

Rob Milton

Take me back to RIDE RAGE,
Sydney's premier motorcycle radio program,
when too much motorcycling is barely enough!