July 15, 2013

Napthine to Slug Motorists Another $50M in Fees

Responsible safe Victorian motorists will be slugged extra costs when renewing their licence as of tomorrow as the Napthine Government slashes a safe driver reward scheme penalising drivers $50 million, State Member for Ballarat East, Geoff Howard MP said today.

Mr Howard said the Napthine Government would tomorrow, July 16, 2013, make significant changes to the VicRoads Safe Driver Scheme – introduced by the former Labor Government in 2006 – which rewards safe drivers with a 25 per cent discount on their licence renewal fees if they have not incurred demerit points or committed other road safety offences.

Mr Howard said between January 2006 and February 2009 45.6 per cent of Victorian drivers (approximately 603,600) who renewed their licence received a discount on their licence fee.

“Mr Napthine last week claimed Victorian motorists would save $20 million by getting rid of registration stickers, but days later he is hitting them with a $48.7 million bill with these changes to the Driver Reward Scheme,” Mr Howard said.

“The Napthine Government is punishing safe responsible drivers in regional Victoria by significantly slashing the eligibility requirements for the discount to those aged 26 and under only.

“The Napthine Government’s road safety message and campaign is now greatly undermined as these changes send the wrong message and encouragement for drivers about the importance of road safety.

 “The Napthine Government slug will significantly impact pensioners and new licence holders who apply for a 10 year licence won’t be eligible at all for the discount and this sends the wrong message about safe driving to all motorists.”

Mr Howard said Transport Accident Commission statistics show there has been a 47 per cent increase in the road toll among those aged over 60 in the past year.

“Mr Napthine’s changes will cost each motorist aged over 26 an extra $61.50 for a 10 year licence renewal and $17.90 for a three year licence renewal,” Mr Howard said.

“If you are 18-years-old and apply for a 10 year licence you will not be eligible for the discount when it is time to renew your licence.

“Mr Napthine has already slugged regional Victorian motorists with additional registration and licence fee increases and is likely to penalise pensioners, young and regional drivers with premium rises under proposed changes to the Transport Accident Commission.

“Mr Napthine seems hell bent on hitting motorists with fee and cost increases at every
opportunity, making it the highest taxing Government in recent history.”