Park Up the Emotion, Get a Grip on the Issue

Gareth MorganUncategorized

Following on from this weeks posts (“Some motorbike riders need to get real” and “Let’s levy the rider and not the motorbike“) I would say the motorcycling community  suffers from a number of delusions, the greatest being;

  • Thinking that the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council is a lobby group for motorcyclists. It is nothing of the sort – it is a group of riders who are appointed by the Minister of ACC to provide advice as to how to get the motorcyclist injury rate down.
  • Thinking that MOTO NZ is concerned with off-road motorcycle injuries. It is not, the sole focus is on-road injuries
  • Total ignorance of what the ACC no fault system is – just to repeat yet again for those whose reading attention doesn’t exceed 3 minutes; A ‘no fault’ system has nothing to do with the ACC levy you pay for a certain activity. On-road motorcycling is deemed to be a higher than normal risk activity. ACC made that call years ago and hence the ACC fees we pay each year are demonstrably higher than those associated with riding in 4-wheeled vehicles for example. In fact if you adjust for the far lower person-kilometres travelled on motorcycles, the ACC levy we pay to ride is hugely higher per time we’re exposed on the road. This reflects the risk of the activity. I’m not defending it , I’m simply telling you the reality. Further this has absolutely nothing to do with who is at fault in a particular accident.
  • Thinking that motorcyclists are being “picked on”. For goodness sake, if we were paying fully for the risk our bike rego each year right now would be $3,585 not $528. We are getting a good deal from other road users but it will not last if we don’t get our injury rate down. Wake up and focus on what we’re trying to do here instead of whingeing away, blaming the rest of the world for your troubles and expecting to be a bludger forever more. We need to get this bloody toll down. Sure we can straighten corner, remove loose metal and do all that stuff that makes riding a bike as safe as being at home on the couch. Two things wrong with that – riding becomes boring and it would cost zillions. The best way to get the toll down is to reward riders who know how to ride on the road and penalise those that can’t – hitting us hard in the wallet for lack of self-management will do that.
  • I can see from the blogs that our community is a reflection of society – some considered, rational people and a heap of half-wits. If you really want to help the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council then start submitting ideas on how we can get this toll down – ideas that are cost effective only (money doesn’t grow on trees) – otherwise you’re little more than a stone in the way.


None of the above denies the reality that many of our injuries are inflicted by other road users. The Council is working on that – evaluating education programmes, looking at improved visibility for motorcycles, improving behaviour at intersections (red light cameras would be great), enabling filtering and motorcycle bays at the lights .. and so on. But it’s inescapable that many of our injuries are self-inflicted so we need to lift our own competence levels. By charging the levy to riders we have a control mechanism to make sure the incompetent stay off the road and we don’t have to pay for their injuries.



Park Up the Emotion, Get a Grip on the Issue was last modified: December 15th, 2015 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.