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Ask Phoebe: ACC levy rates make the difference in vehicle registration costs

11 comments
Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Can you explain why the vehicle registration cost for a non-petrol driven private passenger car, which can be a four-wheel-drive SUV, is $417.61 and the same size non-petrol driven private passenger ute costs $596.67? This is a difference of $179.06 for the same type same use vehicle. Ivan Hill, Whangaparaoa.

The NZ Transport Agency says the difference is because of the ACC levy payable with the motor vehicle licence fee. ACC sets its levy rates by vehicle type, based on the average distance travelled. A four-wheel-drive SUV is classified as a passenger vehicle, and the ute is classified as a goods vehicle. Because goods vehicles have a higher average annual mileage than that of cars and vans, the ACC levy rates on them are higher.

What is the reason for the light-coloured patches on Sandringham Rd near some pedestrian crossings (in the village and just beyond)? Are they a trial to let people know the crossing is there? Also, I have seen lights leading to the crossing on the village - another trial? Nigel Christian, Sandringham.

The in-ground warning lights at Sandringham Rd pedestrian crossings are not a trial. The first trials in New Zealand took place in 2008 in Auckland and Christchurch and the lights have been successful in enhancing safety at pedestrian crossings. Since then such in-ground pedestrian warning lights have been installed at a number of high-risk locations.

The lights are activated by the presence of pedestrians about to enter a crossing on each side of the road, and the warning lights flash to advise drivers of pedestrians at the crossing. They cease flashing after a set time.

The coloured patches are a result of a high friction surfacing treatment on the approaches to the zebra crossing, which helps to further highlight the crossing.

And, similarly ...

On the eastern side of Lower Hobson St, close to a restaurant called Monsoon Poon, there is a pedestrian crossing. A white centre line leads up to it. The crossing and the white line are adorned with cats eyes, which sometimes flash and sometimes don't. When flashing, they cause my car radio to beep to the same rhythm. Questions:

1. Flashing cats eyes on crossings and white lines are never, or hardly ever, to be seen elsewhere, so what's special about this location?

2. Is the interference with car radios caused by intentional design, or merely an unintended electronic consequence?

3. Is the flashing actuated by a pedestrian pushing a button, or by some other, and if so what, means? Barry Littlewood, Auckland.

See above. The in-ground warning lights have been installed at two crossings at Royal Oak roundabouts and at several locations outside schools in the Auckland region.

They are installed only at locations where there is a safety issue and Auckland Transport sees a need to further highlight the crossing. They give approaching drivers additional warning of the presence of pedestrians at the crossing.

The lights at the crossing by Monsoon Poon are activated by the yellow in-ground pads on each side of the zebra crossing.

Auckland Transport has not received any reported incidents of inference with car radios but will check it. It is certainly not intentional and may be because the crossing is in a poor reception area.

- NZ Herald

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