NSW School Zones in place until Friday

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure NSW kids have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure NSW kids have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

We remind motorists that School Zones will remain in place across the state until the end of this week.

“Even though we’re all starting to unwind, we need drivers to remember to be alert and safe around schools,” said Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.

Although many students finished their school year yesterday, school days vary with some being open until Friday, which is why school zones will remain in place across the state until the end of this week.

“Children can be unpredictable around roads – particularly during this time of year when they’re distracted by Christmas and holiday excitement – so we really need drivers to be extra careful,” said the Minister.

“Slow down to 40km/h during school zone hours, obey flashing lights avoid tricky manoeuvres and keep a look out because kids are about.

“Last year, we saw a tragic crash in the final week of school where a little boy visiting Sydney’s north west lost his life, and in December 2012 another boy was hit and killed on his way to school at Kingsgrove.

“We need your help to make sure this doesn’t happen again, so please, be aware and cautious around schools so our kids can have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

“Parents and carers, remember that supervision is key so hold your child’s hand, drop them off and pick them up rather than calling them from across the road and talk to your kids about the need to stop, look, listen and think every time they cross a road.

We also remind drivers to take extra care on local roads and in holiday hot spots. Kids are out and about and may not always be familiar with the roads and associated dangers when they’re away from home.

Do you get stressed driving in School Zones?

Useful links:

Increased awareness of school zones thanks to the NRMA Sydney Clearways Strategy Keeping Sydney Moving The NRMA Decongestion Strategy NRMA Making a difference Traffic Improving on Victoria Rd Thanks to NRMA’s Decongestion Strategy NRMA’s 2013 school zone sign audit reveals almost half of schools still have faded signs

NRMA laptops change kids’ lives in Cambodia

Chris-and-kids

HELP: Chris Swadling and Opportunity Cambodia’s Carolyn Fletcher with some of the children at the centre and the laptops. NRMA IT were delighted to be able to deliver some new laptops and equipment to the Children’s Education Centre within Siem Reap Province of Cambodia.

NRMA has gifted six refurbished laptops and other equipment to an orphanage/education centre in rural Cambodia to help develop the computer skills of 70 local children.

Group Infrastructure Engineer Chris Swadling took the laptops, a 3G modem and surge protector to the Children’s Education Centre in the heart of the village of Anlong Samnar within Siem Reap Province of Cambodia.

Chris set up a local area network and organised a Microsoft Office and English typing tutor for the centre, which also provides food, clothing, medical care, recreation, transport and lodging in some cases.

His trip took place over five days in November and the project was carried out to aid the Cambodian Education and Development fund (Cambodia) in partnership with Opportunity Cambodia.

Kids-with-laptops

Opportunity Cambodia provides educational opportunities for children from destitute families.

“The trip was incredible,” Chris said. “I was shown around the rural community and was stunned at the conditions these children were living in prior to being taken in by the centre. I interacted with the children and staff in their daily activities including meals, sports and classes and they even treated me to a traditional Khmer dancing show.

“I left feeling confident that the work I had done was for a great cause and would actually make a difference to these children’s futures.”

Group Chief Information Officer Glenn Mason said the NRMA ICT team was happy to provide the centre with the fully operational laptops and access to the internet which will enrich their education.

“We were happy to send Chris Swaddling from the ICT team to represent NRMA on site where he set up the first computers they have ever had, to the delight of charity organisers, and spent time exploring the work of the charity,” he said.

At NRMA, we believe education is the best gift we can offer children. This Christmas, if you have anything to give to help educate the poorest kids in Cambodia, you can do so here. Thanks.

Public transport fare updates make Opal relatively cheaper

PRECIOUS OPAL: For individual trips Opal fares are already slightly cheaper than paper-based tickets.

PRECIOUS OPAL: For individual trips Opal fares are already slightly cheaper than paper-based tickets.

The gap between the cost of paper public transport tickets and using an Opal card will continue to increase next year.

From next year, Opal fares for buses and light rail will remain frozen, while train fares for people using the Opal card will increase by 2.5 per cent (about the same as the general rate of inflation).

It is the the second year in a row that Opal bus fares have remained frozen, increasing its appeal over paper tickets.

From Sunday 4 January 2015:

  • Opal bus fares will stay the same
  • Opal light rail fares will stay the same
  • Opal daily and weekly caps will remain the same
  • Opal train fares will increase by 2.5 per cent (in line with CPI)
  • Opal ferry fares will increase by 2.5 per cent (in line with CPI)
  • Adult TravelTen bus tickets will increase by 80 cents
  • A single MyZone rail journey will increase by 20 cents (CPI plus rounding)
  • A single MyZone bus journey will increase by 10 cents (CPI plus rounding)
  • MyMulti tickets will go up by $2 (CPI plus rounding)
  • The $2.50 Gold Opal card cap and paper Pensioner Excursion Ticket (PET) will remain the same.
  • Train fares will increase on average about 3.6 per cent – which is higher than the current rate of inflation. Ferry fares will also increase about 3.4 per cent.

Are you still using paper tickets? If so, why?

Full list:

Opal fare Distance Band (km) Fares 2014 Fares 2015
Train – Peak
Adult Opal

0-10

$3.30

$3.38

10-20

$4.10

$4.20

20-35

$4.70

$4.82

35-65

$6.30

$6.46

65+

$8.10

$8.30

Child/Youth Opal

0-10

$1.65

$1.69

10-20

$2.05

$2.10

20-35

$2.35

$2.41

35-65

$3.15

$3.23

65+

$4.05

$4.15

Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner

0-10

$1.65

$1.69

10-20

$2.05

$2.10

20-35

$2.35

$2.41

35-65

$2.50

$2.50

65+

$2.50

$2.50

Train – Off Peak
Adult Opal

0-10

$2.31

$2.36

10-20

$2.87

$2.94

20-35

$3.29

$3.37

35-65

$4.41

$4.52

65+

$5.67

$5.81

Child/Youth Opal

0-10

$1.15

$1.18

10-20

$1.43

$1.47

20-35

$1.64

$1.68

35-65

$2.20

$2.26

65+

$2.83

$2.90

Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner

0-10

$1.15

$1.18

10-20

$1.43

$1.47

20-35

$1.64

$1.68

35-65

$2.20

$2.26

65+

$2.50

$2.50

Bus
Adult Opal

0-3

$2.10

$2.10

3-8

$3.50

$3.50

8+

$4.50

$4.50

Child/Youth Opal

0-3

$1.05

$1.05

3-8

$1.75

$1.75

8+

$2.25

$2.25

Gold Opal Senior/Pensionerr

0-3

$1.05

$1.05

3-8

$1.75

$1.75

8+

$2.25

$2.25

Light Rail
Adult Opal

0-3

$2.10

$2.10

3-8

$3.50

$3.50

Child/Youth Opal

0-3

$1.05

$1.05

3-8

$1.75

$1.75

Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner

0-3

$1.05

$1.05

3-8

$1.75

$1.75

Ferry
Adult Opal

0-9

$5.60

$5.74

9+

$7.00

$7.18

Child/Youth Opal

0-9

$2.80

$2.87

9+

$3.50

$3.59

Gold Opal Senior/Pensioner

0-9

$2.50

$2.50

9+

$2.50

$2.50

MyZone fares

MyZone ticket 2014 Fares 2015 Fares Increase
Trains
Adult Train 1 single

$3.80

$4.00

$0.20

Adult Train 2 single

$4.60

$4.80

$0.20

Adult Train 3 single

$5.20

$5.40

$0.20

Adult Train 4 single

$6.80

$7.00

$0.20

Adult Train 5 single

$8.60

$8.80

$0.20

Buses
Adult Bus 1 single

$2.30

$2.40

$0.10

Adult Bus 2 single

$3.70

$3.80

$0.10

Adult Bus 3 single

$4.60

$4.70

$0.10

Adult Bus 1 TravelTen

$18.40

$19.20

$0.80

Adult Bus 2 TravelTen

$29.60

$30.40

$0.80

Adult Bus 3 TravelTen

$36.80

$37.60

$0.80

Ferries
Adult Ferry 1 single

$6.00

$6.20

$0.20

Adult Ferry 2 single

$7.40

$7.60

$0.20

Light rail
Adult Zone 1 single

$3.60

$3.80

$0.20

Adult Zone 2 single

$4.60

$4.80

$0.20

My Zone Multimodal fares
MyMulti weekly Day

$23.00

$24.00

$1.00

MyMulti weekly 1

$46.00

$48.00

$2.00

MyMulti weekly 2

$54.00

$56.00

$2.00

MyMulti weekly 3

$63.00

$65.00

$2.00

Pensioner Excursion ticket

$2.50

$2.50

-

Family Funday Sunday

$2.50

$2.50

-

Gen 2 Supercars to bring V8s back to the future

BLUEPRINT: V8 Supercars has outlined its view to the future. But what impact will it have on the sport moving forward?

While the V8 will remain for some time yet, the governing body of the V8 Supercars has confirmed it will open up the sport to new engine and body configurations from 2017.

V8 Supercars says the series, known as Gen2 Supercar, will mean the sport will have increased relevance to manufacturers, race fans, teams and sponsors.

“It is imperative to keep the sport relevant to the current environment, entertaining and, critically, viable for the race teams,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.

“The current climate in world motorsport is absolutely clear. Manufacturers want choice in what they go racing with, otherwise they won’t participate. They want their DNA represented and so do we. We will not compromise our DNA – fast, loud and fierce racing.

“The sheer brute power and sound of V8 Supercars is synonymous with the sport. A key area will be retaining the acoustic effect of high powered race cars no matter the engine or make.”

The addition of Volvo, Nissan and Erebus Motorsport (AMG E63) to the series in 2013 was the first step towards the 2017 plan. And, it’s been very successful.

Having ‘traditional’ V8 Supercar drivers such as Todd Kelly switching to drive for the new brands certainly helped the transition – from what has been a two-make series for two decades. Plus, luxury car maker Lexus has expressed interest in joining the series and is believed to be in ‘high level’ discussions.

The 2017 White Paper means the current V8 Supercars could be joined by turbo-charged six or four cylinder engines from 2017.

The new format is not surprising given that the local manufacturers have both confirmed they will cease production of the current models on which the series is based from next year. Ford’s announcement earlier this week that it was withdrawing from the sport from the end of next year has also had a major impact on the sport’s future.

Ironically, the new plans bring the sport almost back full circle – harking back to what the Australian Touring Car Championship looked like in the 1990s – when cars such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R, Ford Sierra and BMW M3 raced.

So what will be the new rules?
The high level guidelines dictate the following:
1.The car must be publicly available for sale in Australia
2.Front engine
3.Right hand drive
4.Full four-seat configuration
5.Rear wheel drive
6.Accurately reflect the look of the road car and;
7.Retain the essential DNA of the sport.

All cars will use the existing Car of the Future chassis and control components, and be subject to engine and aero parity rules.

“The rules will ensure no engine or body configuration has any advantage or disadvantage over another,” a V8 Supercars statement said.

“The groups will be headed by V8 Supercars’ motorsport department which will be tasked with making recommendations to the V8 Supercars Commission which includes representatives of V8 Supercars, race teams and independents.

“These groups will consult with participating manufacturers and teams throughout the process.

“The technical groups will aim to publish draft engine and body style operating guidelines for discussion by mid-2015.

“These guidelines will be defined towards the end of 2015, allowing testing to commence from February 2016.”

A new category logo will be rolled out from 2015 featuring a stylised ‘SC’ with S in red and C in white with V8 Supercars positioned underneath to make way for the engine transition from 2017.

Do you think the Gen2 Supercars series will be a change for the better?

Two vehicle registration changes come into effect

GREEN LIGHT: Reforms introduced designed to cut time and money when registering vehicles in NSW, especially for older drivers.

GREEN LIGHT: In NSW, light vehicles more than five years old need a pink slip before registration can be renewed to ensure safety of the vehicle.

Two important changes to NSW vehicle registration have just been implemented.

The changes include:

  1. Extending the time light vehicle safety inspection reports, or pink slips, are valid from six weeks to six months,
  2. Improving the registration system for pensioners to make it simpler and more accessible.

The extension of the ‘pink slip’ validity period means that car owners can arrange a safety inspection at the same time as getting their car service if registration is due in the next six months.

Although the inspection report will be valid for six months, registrations may only be renewed up to 90 days before the registration expiry date. These changes apply to light vehicle registration renewal inspections only. Public passenger vehicles are not included. A 42 day validity period remains in place where the inspection report is for vehicle sale purposes or “change of ownership”.

“We’ve also removed unnecessary registration renewal steps for pensioners by developing an automatic renewal system.” said Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.

The previous system required pensioners to contact the RMS to obtain a receipt number to validate their registration concession and finalise registration. Now, pensioner registration renewal, including concession validation will be automatically updated once inspection and insurance confirmation is received.

This means eligible pensioners do not need to go online, call the contact centre, or visit a registry or service centre to renew their registration – it will automatically happen.

For pensioners with vehicles under five years old, a safety inspection will not be needed. Pensioners can also ensure their vehicle registration has been finalized by checking their registration status at this website.

Do you think these are sensible reforms? What other reforms would you like to see the government make to simplify vehicle registration?

For more registration information visit: Roads and Maritime – Registration.