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Thread: RTA comes under fire over P plate regulations

  1. #1
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    RTA comes under fire over P plate regulations

    http://drive.com.au/editorial/articl...vf=2&bg=1&pp=0

    RTA in a fine mess over new P-plate restrictions
    The Sydney Morning Herald
    Friday July 15 2005

    Restrictions on cars that novice motorists are allowed to drive have some embarrassing anomalies. Some slow cars with world-class safety have been placed on the banned list. BILL McKINNON reports.




    The release on Monday by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority of a 102-page list of cars now off limits to P-plate drivers has created widespread confusion and concern, not least, it seems, within the RTA itself.

    Drive's attempts this week to clarify with the RTA exactly which cars are banned for P-plate drivers, why and under what circumstances, have produced few answers.

    The RTA has already modified the list of banned cars, and the criteria that determine whether a car is included.

    Parents and P-platers who own cars on the banned list cannot be certain about whether or not they are now in breach of the new regulations, due to a lack of detail to information that is constantly being updated by the RTA.
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    The initial list included cars with eight or more cylinders, a turbocharged or supercharged engine (diesels are exempt), engine performance modifications or high-performance six-cylinder engines.

    On licences obtained from Monday, P1 or P2 licence holders who drive a banned car face seven demerit points and a $375 fine.

    The list was drawn up by the RTA on the basis, it claims, of vehicles over-represented in novice-driver crashes. The RTA could provide Drive with no evidence of this; neither has it been able to provide evidence to the NRMA of a link between P-plate driver deaths and the power of their cars.

    The list covers everything from a 1960 Bentley Continental Drophead Coupe to a 2005 Porsche 911 turbo. The list also includes several cars eminently suitable for P-plate drivers, in that they score five stars out of five in NCAP crash tests, have sophisticated driving aids such as anti-lock brakes and stability control, and use low-powered supercharged or turbo-charged petrol engines, designed for driveability and economy rather than outright performance.

    These cars include the Mercedes-Benz C180K/C200K (with 105kW and 120kW outputs, they are far less powerful than the average Commodore or Falcon) and the Saab 9-3/9-5 (several engines, starting from 110kW.)

    The RTA's website on Monday made no mention of exemptions for these cars. When Drive asked why they were included on the banned list, the RTA said they "may be exempt where a driver can demonstrate this type of car to be the principal family vehicle". Other safe, strong, moderately powered cars on the banned list which Drive would be happy to put its teenagers into include the Audi A4 1.8T (120kW), pre-2005 VW Golf GTi (110kW), Mercedes E200K (120kW), Mini Cooper S (125kW); VW 1.8 Passat (pre-2002; 110kW) and Volvo V70 2.4T (125 kW).

    It seems that exemptions, which cost $23, may soon prove to be the rule, particularly as parents who own a car now deemed unsuitable for their P-plated offspring face the prospect of having to sell it, or buy an extra car for the youngsters to drive.

    We asked the RTA what parents in this situation should do. We received no answer, apart from: "Exemptions based on engine size are not available for family reasons".

    The criteria for obtaining an exemption are vague and open to wide interpretation.

    Exemptions "may" be granted if a P-plater has to drive a banned car for employment purposes, lives in the country and has no alternative but to drive a V8 or 4WD, or lives as part of a family which has as its principal vehicle (i.e., registered to a parent) a low-performance, turbocharged engine vehicle.

    Exemptions "may" be granted "in exceptional circumstances". Exceptional circumstances are not defined.

    However, according to the RTA's website, owning a prohibited vehicle does not make you exempt. Drive asked the RTA if this meant that a person who, before Monday, had already bought a car now included on the banned list and planned to use it as transport on obtaining Ps, would now have to sell it. Not necessarily it seems. Such a person "may" apply for an exemption to be allowed to drive the car.

    And what about insurance? We asked NRMA Insurance if P-platers who drive their parents car, now on the banned list, void the comprehensive insurance policy. What if the parents have already paid a premium on the policy, so their teenager can drive the car? Do they get a refund?

    "We will review claims on an individual basis," a spokesman told Drive.

    While Ford and Holden V8s - going all the way back to late 1960s GTs, Kingswoods and Monaros - are on the banned list, the current model six-cylinder Falcon, which has a 182 kW engine, and the VZ Commodore, which has a new 175kW or 190kW V6, are permitted, even though both make much more power than many banned cars.

    Mazda's high performance, 177kW RX8 sports coupe also escapes the banned list.

    Holden describes the 190kW V6 as a "high-performance" engine and claims its torque range "is a performance attribute normally associated with V8 engines".

    When Drive asked the RTA why the current Falcon and Commodore sixes were not included on the banned list, it replied that "the scheme does not intend to ban the average family vehicle".

    So how much power should an average family vehicle make? What, indeed, is an average family vehicle? In today's diverse market, no such car exists.

    The anomalies and uncertainty surrounding the RTA's new restrictions have aroused the NRMA's ire. It was not consulted when the banned list was compiled.

    It disagrees with the criteria for inclusion.

    "People can cause injury or fatality in any vehicle, even at relatively low speeds," says NRMA spokesman Jack Haley.

    "Safety is more important than performance, and P-plate drivers should be allowed to drive vehicles now on the banned list if they have a four or five-star NCAP crash-test rating," he says.

    The car industry also seems to have been taken by surprise. "We applaud the sentiment, but we question the logic of it," Mercedes-Benz's national sales manager, Clyde Campbell, told Drive.

    "The consequences do not appear to have been properly thought through," he says. "In some cases it may force P-platers out of safe cars into less safe ones."

    Victoria has a similar list of banned vehicles. However it uses precise formulae to determine whether or not a car is banned. A high-powered vehicle is defined as one with a power-to-weight ratio of more than 125kW/tonne, or an engine capacity/weight ratio of more than 3.5 litres/tonne.

    Drive asked the RTA why it did not simply adopt the Victorian criteria and list. Its reply claimed that their method is "problematic" from an enforcement and community understanding perspective. Which does rather seem to sum up what's been happening this week. For more details, go to www.rta.nsw.gov.au.
    I am the Stig

  2. #2
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    Great! More Confused Buereaucratic Nonsense.

    If they can't understand it, How the hell is it going to be Implemented?
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    theyre all idiots, this'll take years to sort out.

    Theyre quite right about forcing P platers into unsafe cars, You cant drive your Parents SS with its dual airbags, crumple zones and new seat belts and the whole kit but you can drive this datsun 260ZX...

    tools...
    The Datto will rage again...

  4. #4
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    Its a pity that nothings getting done about it though. The government advisors criticised it, the NRMA is asking for the list to be revised and the public is just fvcken confused, and for once, the Victorians are having the last laugh! No wonder they cant find the link between powerful cars and over-representation in crashes, theyre struggling to make the system to control it in the first place.
    I am the Stig

  5. #5
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    i am so un impressed about this list. im so damned confused! i remember there was a .pdf of all banned vehicles, can someone link me? so i know what i can acutally f*cking buy to drive?
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    you can get a caterham super seven, an exige, an Alfa 146 GTA
    Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death...
    Hunter Thompson

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndclasscitizen
    you can get a caterham super seven, an exige, an Alfa 146 GTA
    Seriously ?
    You can't get a Saab 9-3 but you CAN drive a 7.

    Off their heads, clearly written with some stupid political agenda.
    You sure "mad cow disease" hasn't reached your shores ?
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    that was the main point of an article in MOTOR about this. They talked to Volvo and MB guys who weren't to happy. You can't drive an AWD, uber-safe volvo, just because it has a little blower. But you can drive an absolutley mental Alfa
    Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death...
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    There looking after the Aussie's in there, They dont want to get on the wrong sides of Holden and Ford do they.
    "Just a matter of time i suppose"

    "The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

    "I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"

  10. #10
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    off the record, "you (hopfully u know what i mean)" pay to not be on that list,

    and soon motorists will pay to be allowed to drive cars that are banned,

    also off the record, guys in victoria might have to pay to drive high power car.

    oh well, they waste enough money, have to get it back from some where, funny enough, everyone i walk pass seems to complain, but no one really does anything about it.
    '67 Shelby Mustang GT500 "Eleanor"
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  11. #11
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    It's bad enough we pay for our cars to drive them then pay the gov's to allow us to drive them on the roads. Then pay more to allow us to drive a car
    Now chuck in a payment to drive banned cars sounds like a good way to make money to me
    "Just a matter of time i suppose"

    "The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

    "I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickHolden
    There looking after the Aussie's in there, They dont want to get on the wrong sides of Holden and Ford do they.
    If anything, theyre getting screwed over worse than the rest, cause most of the old Holdens and Fords that people still drive are only V8's. Just think, you can drive a 120kw EFI X-flow XF Falcon, but god forbid if you want to drive a V8 VK Commodore, which the 5L only has 125kw
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  13. #13
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    And the VB 5LT was only 110-115kw? Have they banned the 253 V8 also That was shit. Yes when you think about it My VP V6 would slap dead a VK 5LT Commodore, But only thing i can think of is myn might have a speed limiter and the VK wouldnt.
    "Just a matter of time i suppose"

    "The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

    "I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"

  14. #14
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    yah, no V8's or bigger, no petrol turbos, no supercharged petrols, nothing with engine modifications (there goes my idea of a Charade with an SR20)
    I am the Stig

  15. #15
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    They go allright to
    "Just a matter of time i suppose"

    "The elevator is broke, So why don't you test it out"

    "I'm not trapped in here with all of you, Your all trapped in here with me"

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