MOTORI NG AUTUMN 1999 Issue 1 Volume 5 - Australian ...

MOTORI NG AUTUMN 1999 Issue 1 Volume 5 - Australian ...

MOTORI NGAUTUMN 1999 Issue 1 Volume 5DIRECTIONSIn this issue• Combating car theft: aninsurer’s strategy and thepotential of ITS• Promoting natural gas as avehicle fuel• The motorist’s role in reducingemissions• Petrol prices, membershipfees and the GSTAUSTRALIAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION

Motoring DIRECTIONSFew motorists give much thought to vehicle theft unless their cars are stolen or broken into.Although distressing, the commonplace nature of the event means that it tends to be viewedas an inconvenience, as long as the car is fully insured. Yet, Australia has one of the highestrates of vehicle theft in the world, resulting in higher insurance premiums for all car owners.The country’s largest general insurer has appointed a former police officer to take chargeof its efforts to reduce the cost of car theft claims, and in this issue she explains the NRMA’sstrategy. In another perspective on the problem, we examine the application of intelligenttransport systems in improving vehicle security.The AAA’s research shows there is considerable ambivalence among motorists about theenvironmental impact of the car, due to the essential role it occupies in their daily lives. However,there are many simple measures they can adopt to reduce vehicle emissions, and these are outlinedinside. Equally, operators of trucks and buses have an obligation to contribute to environmentalgoals, and we include a report from Professor Cairney of the University of Western Sydney onpromoting natural gas as a vehicle fuel to help achieve that.His report raises concerns about the implications of reductions in diesel excise proposed as partof the Federal Government’s tax reforms. The AAA too has some concerns about the tax reforms,particularly in regard to petrol prices and membership fees, as you can also read. Finally, we look atsome of the petrol price monitoring data gathered since deregulation of the market last August.Lauchlan McIntoshExecutive Director

MOTORING DIRECTIONSISSN: 1323–4595Australian Automobile AssociationIncorporated in the ACTACN 008 526 369Mining Industry House216 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT.Telephone: (02) 6247 7311Facsimile: (02) 6257 5320Postal address: GPO Box 1555, Canberra, ACT 2601.Email address: aaa@aaa.asn.auInternet address: Wilson, External Relations Manager, AAAProductionHester Gascoigne & AssociatesPrinterParagon Printers, CanberraIf you would like to receive a personally addressed copy of Motoring DIRECTIONS and do not already doso, please complete the coupon and mail or fax it to:The Australian Automobile Association (AAA)GPO Box 1555Canberra ACT 2601Fax: (02) 6257 5320Please add my name to the mailing list for future issues of Motoring DIRECTIONS.Name: ..........................................................................................................................................................Position:.......................................................................................................................................................Organisation: ..............................................................................................................................................Address: .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Postcode: ............................Telephone: ................................................................................ Facsimile:................................................2 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSRACV Senior Environmental Engineer, Stewart McDonald, outlines how individuals can make a significant contribution to achievingenvironmental goals.Motorists’ Important Role inReducing Vehicle EmissionsThe initial purchase of a motor vehicle, themanner in which the vehicle is kept andmaintained, usage patterns, utilisation of othertransport modes, such as public transport, andthe use of alternative fuels are all determinedultimately by the attitudes and behaviours of motorists.Each of these elements can have a major bearing onemission outcomes. Therefore, a key component ofaddressing vehicle related emissions should necessarilyfocus on the motorist.The individual motorist can make a difference toenvironmental outcomes and should be encouraged tocontribute through a range of measures. Importantly, theenvironmental benefits that are derived from thesemeasures often generate other benefits like savings inmotoring costs and time spent travelling betweenactivities.While technology improvements and innovation willcontinue to play an important role in future vehicleemissions management strategies, the measuresidentified here are non-technical and, if adopted bymotorists, can lead to immediate and significantenvironmental gains.Since 1995, the Australian Automobile Associationhas commissioned ANOP Research Services toundertake a series of national surveys of motorists’attitudes and behaviours.In the 1995 survey respondents’ main concerns abouttransport issues were, in order, public transport (36 percent), the condition of the roads (29 per cent), motoringcosts (29 per cent), safety (25 per cent) and air pollution(16 per cent).In regard to the environment, a consistent theme thathas emerged from the three surveys conducted to dateis that motorists have a genuine concern about the effectof the car on the environment. However, few wouldconsider changing their driving habits because of this.In the 1997 survey 82 per cent of respondentsindicated they would prefer to drive a car than takepublic transport due primarily to convenience (26 percent), flexibility (24 per cent), inadequate publictransport (20 per cent) or because the car is quicker (13per cent).Sixteen per cent indicated they would prefer to catchpublic transport, citing as their primary reasons that itis more relaxing or cheaper, or that there is a lack ofparking.When asked what reduces the environmental impactof cars, the 1997 survey found that 50 per cent identifiedthe type of fuel, 39 per cent exhaust emission controls,20 per cent the condition of the car and 17 per cent fuelefficiency.Importantly, when motorists were asked how likelythey were to do something to reduce the environmentalimpact of the car, 58 per cent indicated they probablywould (up from 43 per cent in the 1996 survey). Thebreakdown of the 58 per cent shows that 24 per centwould ensure their cars were well maintained, 10 per centwould use unleaded petrol, eight per cent would buy anewer, environmentally friendly car, but only five per centwould reduce car usage.Clearly, telling motorists to reduce the use of cars onenvironmental grounds will fall on deaf ears. However,motorists are prepared to do something towardsimproving the environment provided the solutions donot involve restrictions on the use of their car. Anymeasures that aim to reduce vehicle emissions must betailored around this observation.Not only are motorists prepared to do something, theANOP surveys show they are also looking forinformation, particularly from motoring organisations,on the environmental impacts of the car and ways thesecan be reduced.Much attention in terms of managing vehicleemissions is focused on the improvements that can bederived from advances in technology. Sophisticatedengine management systems, engine design and fuellingsystems, on-board diagnostics, hybrid vehicles and,ultimately, fuel cells are just some of the technologicaldevelopments offering enormous potential forenvironmental gains.➥MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSWhile these developments are essential forcontinuing improvements in new vehicle emissionsperformance and consequently air quality, theimportance of the role of motorists also requiresrecognition.Vehicle Operating CostsEach year, RACV publishes vehicle operatingcosts for the most popular cars. Following are a fewobservations from these calculations:■ Large four-wheel-drive vehicles are about twice asexpensive to operate as light passenger cars.■ Depreciation and interest account for over half ofthe average operating costs, hence initial purchaseprice is a big factor.■When the fixed costs of registration and insuranceare factored in, the standing costs far exceed theoperating costs (70 per cent of total), yet it is petrol,servicing and consumable items like tyres thatmotorists can be most sensitive to. This reflects theday-to-day nature of these expenses as opposed tothe less frequent standing costs.RACV strongly advises consumers to consider vehicleoperating costs when purchasing a car. Consumers havea wide choice of vehicles, and they should consider theirtransport requirements, what size of vehicle they reallyneed and how often they intend to use it. This will helpdetermine the type of vehicle and importantly its price.A smaller vehicle is less costly to own and operate andwill generally use less fuel. The environmental andresource benefits of smaller cars are consistent withsavings in operating costs.The Australian Greenhouse Office estimates that eachlitre of petrol saved roughly translates to a saving ingreenhouse gas emissions of 2.5 kilograms.Careful selection of the most appropriate vehicle inthe first instance can save money and reduce fuel usage(and consequently carbon dioxide emissions) throughoutthe lifecycle of a vehicle.Regular TuningOnce in-service or ‘on the road’, regular tuning andmaintenance is critically important in making sure thata vehicle continues to operate as it was designed to do bythe manufacturer.The Federal Office of Road Safety’s National In-serviceVehicle Emissions (NISE) study in 1996 determined theemissions and fuel consumption benefits that could berealised if the Australian vehicle fleet was regularly tuned.The overall levels of improvements in emissions availablefrom tuning are shown in the accompanying table.The NISE study found that:6 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5Pollutant All cars ADR 27 ADR 37in study Cars CarsHydrocarbons 16% 14% 21%Carbon Monoxide 25% 26% 24%Oxides of Nitrogen 9% 8% 9%Average reduction in emissions from tuning and maintenance.■ There is clear evidence that exhaust pollution levelsfrom cars increase with age and kilometres travelled.■ Most ADR 37 cars still complied with the exhaustemission limits after the 80,000 kilometre marknominated in the ADRs (this is not the case withevaporative emissions).■ Cars 10 to 16 years old currently dominate thepollution scene for hydrocarbons and carbonmonoxide. This phenomenon was less evident foroxides of nitrogen.■ Cars in the 10 to 16 year age group tend to stand outbecause they have fairly high average emissions, arestill driven intensively and are still numerous becauseof Australia’s low vehicle turnover.■ Newer cars, while accounting for higher averageannual travel, have generally low average emissionsprovided they are well maintained.■ However, given the elevated deterioration ratesobserved for catalyst equipped vehicles, it is possiblethis group may become a significant problem as itgets older unless steps are taken to maintain thefunctionality of their emission controls.■ Older vehicles tend to have higher individualemission levels but contribute a diminishing amountto total pollution because they generally travel less.■ No age of vehicle can be totally discounted, however,as individual vehicles in all groups were found toemit extremely high levels of pollution (up to 100times typical new car levels) and these should berectified regardless of age or usage.■ Evaporative emissions are an area of serious concern.■ An overall improvement in fuel consumption ofaround 1.5 per cent was recorded on the main testsample after tuning. The worst 10 per cent gave afuel consumption gain of over five per cent aftertuning.The NISE study provides conclusive evidence thatregular tuning of vehicles will provide emissions and fuelconsumption benefits.The RACV, in partnership with the state’sEnvironment Protection Authority, is currently➥

MOTORING DIRECTIONSundertaking a major environmentalprogram called AirCare Victoria. Thisprogram aims to promote andencourage initiatives to reduce vehicleemissions, and consequently improveMelbourne’s air quality.In its initial phases it has featureda public awareness campaign aimed ateducating and informing motorists ofthe contribution of vehicle emissionsto air quality, and the steps whichindividual motorists can take to reduceemissions.A key component of AirCare Victoria is to raiseawareness of the link between a vehicle’s state of tune andits resulting emissions. Given a heightened level ofawareness, motorists are encouraged to have theirvehicles tuned regularly.A vehicle that is well tuned will run better, is morelikely to have a better resale value, will use less fuel andhave lower emissions than a vehicle that is not lookedafter in the same way.Tyre PressuresAnyone who has attended an advanced driving coursewill be acutely aware of the importance of correct tyrepressures. This is usually the first item discussed at suchcourses and, although the discussions are generally froma safety and vehicle handling perspective, there are clearfuel consumption benefits to be derived.The Department of Primary Industries and Energyestimates that correct tyre pressures alone can reduce fuelconsumption by three-five per cent. Correct tyre pressuresmean:■ maximum traction in most conditions;■ optimum handling for your vehicle;■ minimum stopping distance can be achieved;■■longer tyre life; andlower fuel consumption.All motorists should own a tyre pressure gauge andcheck the tyre pressures on their vehicle regularly.Compressed air is still free at most garages and ensuringthat tyres are kept at the correct pressures will save money(tyre wear and fuel), improve vehicle handling andminimise greenhouse gas emissions.Driving StylesThe manner of driving, as well as the distancetravelled, are two key determinants in the emissionscontribution of a vehicle. RACV estimates that as muchas a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption isThe AirCare Victoria campaignmessage is “To help keep our airclean, stay tuned”.achievable with smooth drivingcompared to aggressive driving.The RACV study found there wasan average variation of less than fiveminutes between driving smoothlywith the traffic flow and drivingaggressively with quick take-off attraffic lights and late braking. In otherwords, the time-saving benefits fromaggressive driving in city traffic aremarginal, but there are substantial fuelsavings and consequently greenhousegas emissions savings.Smooth driving also saves additional wear and tear onengine, transmission and brakes. There is less likelihoodof being involved in an accident with a smooth drivingapproach.Speed has a major bearing on fuel consumption.Driving at 110 kph uses 25 per cent more fuel than drivingat 90 kph. Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission hasa high profile campaign which advises that “speed kills”.Not only is it safer to travel within speed limits, it will alsoreduce fuel consumption.Different FuelsThere is a range of transport fuels available in additionto petrol, including diesel, natural gas, methanol,ethanol, hydrogen and electricity. In the future motoristswill more than likely be able to order a fuel system to gowith their vehicle just as they specify automatictransmission and air conditioning at present.Rather than explore the merits of all these various fueltypes, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is taken as anexample of an alternative fuel.The benefits of LPG have been well documented.Converting a petrol-engined vehicle to operate on LPGwill give an immediate carbon dioxide emission benefitof the order of 16 per cent provided the LPG system is wellengineered and well matched to the vehicle. Otherbenefits of LPG include lower particulate emissions andless harmful hydrocarbon emissions given thethermodynamic and chemical properties of the fuel.Ideally engines would be dedicated for LPG anddesigned to capitalise on the inherent benefits of a higheroctane rating and its volumetric efficiency advantages.However, the majority of LPG conversions are currentlyundertaken as retrofits on conventional petrol engines,either as dual fuel or LPG only systems.With the current federal excise exemption, LPG is inthe region of a third of the retail price of petrol.Compensating for the lower energy content of LPGcompared with petrol (of the order of 25 per cent),MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 7➥

MOTORING DIRECTIONSmotorists can be looking at a payback period of aroundtwo years.This is based on a conversion cost for LPG of $2,000,annual kilometres of 20,000 and fuel prices of 70 cpl and25 cpl for petrol and LPG respectively. After the paybackhas been achieved, the fuel cost savings for LPG are closeto $1,000 per annum assuming 20,000 kilometrestravelled.Australia has an extensiveLPG retail network with over3,300 retail automotiveoutlets. LPG is thereforewidely available and acceptedby motorists as a mainstreamtransport fuel.Provided the vehicle and,more specifically, its engineare suitable for LPGoperation, motorists can saveon fuel costs and greenhousegas emissions by using LPG asan automotive fuel in their vehicles. As with all vehicles,maintenance and regular tuning is just as important fora vehicle operating on LPG.Transport AlternativesConsumers expect, and will use, a mode of transportwhich is direct, reliable, quick, safe and secure,comfortable and affordable. In many cases this tends tofavour the car.However, there are times when the motor vehicle willcomplement other transport modes like public transportor bicycles, and times when these other modes will beused in preference. The issue is mobility not mode.Transport needs to be planned and operated as anintegrated, multi-modal system, where each mode oftransport plays a complementary role. Each mode has arole to play, and policies for transport should concentrateeffort on what each mode does best.Car pooling and trip chaining (the linking of variousactivities and destinations into a single or reducednumber of trips) are effective measures for reducingmotoring costs and emissions. For those advocating tripchaining, it is the time savings and lifestyle benefits asopposed to specific fuel cost savings that are oftenpromoted.Company CarsTransport needs to be planned andoperated as an integrated, multi-modalsystem, where each mode of transportplays a complementary role.Novated leases are becoming more popular withbusinesses for the provision of vehicles to employees aspart of their employment package. A novated lease hassignificant advantages for acompany in that they do notown the vehicle as is the casewith the traditional companyvehicle. Rather the companyfacilitates the leasing of a carto an employee through aleasing company.The employee isresponsible for the vehiclethrough the lease agreement.There is greater flexibility in the type of cars leased.Novated leases may potentially loosen the tie whichhas previously existed between the traditional companycar and the larger capacity engine vehicles.Carbon SequestrationFinally, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, carbonsequestration (or carbon sinks) is an important optionthat requires recognition.Greenfleet is a public initiative managed by the FosterFoundation. For $25 dollars (tax deductible) seven treesare planted whichduring their lifecycle will soak up the carbon dioxideemissions generated by the average vehicle in one year oftravel (4.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide).Brochures promoting the Greenfleet initiative are sentto all Victorian motorists with their registration renewal.■This article is based on a paper presented to theGreat Eco-Auto Challenge conference held in May thisyear by the Society of Automotive Engineers-Australasia and Automotive Training Australia■8 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSProfessor Trevor Cairney of the University of Western Sydney explains how and why the three layers of government are working withindustry, consumer organisations and the University in -Promoting the Use of NaturalGas as a Fuel for VehiclesThe Greater Western Sydney Natural GasVehicle Project is a joint exercise aimed atimproving air quality by using cleaner fuels inmotor vehicles. The project’s task force ischaired by the University of Western Sydneyand comprises representatives from:■ Australian Greenhouse Office■ Environment Australia■ NSW Roads and Traffic Authority■ NSW Premier’s Department■ NRMA■ Western Sydney Regional■Organisation of CouncilsMacquarie RegionalOrganisation of CouncilsThe project builds on aninitiative of the LiverpoolCouncil, which is in theprocess of converting itsvehicles to run on natural gas.It seeks to assist more vehicle fleets convert to naturalgas as well as helping to set up the needed refuellinginfrastructure.Most people are aware of the detrimentalenvironmental effects of petrol and diesel fuelledvehicles. Oil based fuels contribute to the photochemicalsmog, produce greenhouse gases and cause significanthealth problems.The NSW Government is aware that there is no onesolution to air pollution and is looking at a range ofmeasures to assist in improving air quality. This project isone such measure.The task force plays a major role as facilitator betweengas and equipment suppliers, and organisationsconsidering switching to natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Itattempts to work with industry to identify theimpediments to using natural gas and then work withgovernment to attempt to overcome these issues.The task force is also providing advice to theAustralian Greenhouse Office with regard to the use ofthe $7.6 million that the Federal Government hasallocated for natural gas refuelling infrastructure.The case for natural gas is a strongone. It is a cleaner, competitivelypriced alternative to traditionalvehicle fuels.Strong Case for Natural GasThe case for natural gas is a strong one. It is a cleaner,competitively priced alternative to traditional vehiclefuels.Vehicles running on natural gas produce far lesspollution than gasoline and diesel fuelled vehicles, withsome research indicating a reduction of 40 per cent ingreenhouse gases is possible.Natural gas is found in abundance in Australia.Vehicles using gas would reduce our oil imports andcontribute to the Australianeconomy. Natural gas isalready in use in a largeproportion of homes, so agreat deal of neededinfrastructure is already inplace.The project’s task force islooking to identify existingtrials with NGVs and where itcan provide assistance to these companies. It will alsohelp other companies see how natural gas can be used intheir vehicle fleets and what options are available to them.Natural gas has a long history as an alternative fuel inmany countries and now boasts a worldwide populationof one million.Compared with diesel, natural gas produces:■■■■■■76 per cent less particulate matter (contributor tobrown urban haze, potential cancer risk, asthmairritant);66 per cent less oxides of nitrogen (majorcontributor to smog);62 per cent less non-methane hydrocarbons(contributor to smog);46 per cent less carbon monoxide (poisonous gas,asphyxiant);99 per cent less sulphur dioxide (asthma irritant,major contributor to acid rain); andnine per cent less carbon dioxide (major contributorto greenhouse effect).➥MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 9

MOTORING DIRECTIONSNatural gas vehicles are also around 50 per centquieter than diesel engine vehicles.Current TrialsCompressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles have beenused by several companies in Melbourne and Sydney.After a series of successful trials, Sydney Buses nowoperate over 100 CNG buses and have announced theywill increase this by a further 300 buses over the next fewyears.The decision was based onthe financial savings of naturalgas. Sydney Buses estimate asaving of 7.34 cents perkilometre (11 cents perkilometre fuel saving minus3.74 cents per kilometreadditional maintenancecosts). Based on the use of 104CNG buses travelling 7.2million kilometres per year,this represents savings of$531,000 in one year or $10 million over the buses’anticipated 10-year life.Such savings more than compensate for extrapurchase costs.In May 1997 Waverley Council started operating twoCNG trucks (a garbage compactor and a tipper truck).Following a year-long evaluation, comparison with thediesel fuelled vehicles indicated a saving of $4,428(annual gas fuel costs of $7,904 compared with $12,332for diesel).Concern over western Sydney’s high pollution levelsand high respiratory illnesses led Liverpool City Councilto convert its vehicle fleet to run on natural gas. So farseven sedans and two light commercial vehicles have beenconverted to CNG using a range of conversion kits.Twenty more vehicles are planned for conversionwithin the next six months as well as two street sweepersthat are currently running on LPG.The proposed new tax system willcompletely remove the current priceadvantage that natural gas enjoysand lead to the very oppositeenvironmental effects that we areattempting to achieve.Buttercup Bakery in Canberra has been using twoCNG vehicles, a Ford station wagon and Internationaltruck of eight tonne GVM.Australia Post experimented with natural gas fuelledcars and delivery vans several years ago but due todifficulties obtaining the right vehicle and access torefuelling stations did not proceed with this development.However, as a result of joining the GreenhouseChallenge, Australia Post decided to purchase a naturalgas fuelled truck for their Canberra – Sydney run.The vehicle purchasedwas a 24 tonne GVMInternational with aCummins dedicated gasspark ignition engine. Sixgas tanks were fittedproviding a range of 599kilometres.In spite of someteething problems thecompany is persisting withthis development and isattempting to increase the range to 700km to enablenatural gas vehicles to be used on their Canberra-Sydney-Canberra run. Access to refuelling is an inconveniencebut Australia Post is utilising the newly opened MoorbankCNG refuelling facility.Boral’s transport division is also trialing a natural gasdual fuel vehicle in Adelaide. The 42.5 tonne GVMFreightliner is used to cart quarry products.The engine, a series 60 Detroit providing 375horsepower, is new technology and, if successful, Boral isconfident it could provide an economic conversion toexisting diesel engines. Boral has said that good resultshave been achieved so far.LogisticsRange and refuelling limitations mean that NGVs arebest suited to return-to-base operations with a 500kilometre range. Other facts are:Fuel type – vehicle use Price now Price under the proposed new tax systemNatural Gas for private use 35 cpl 38.5 cplNatural Gas for business use 35 cpl 35 cpl (10% GST rebate to user)Diesel for private use 70 cpl 70 cplDiesel for business useI). Light vehicles 70 cpl 70 cplII). 3.5 tonnes and over 63 cpl 38 cpl (10% GST rebate + excise reduced by 25cpl)III). Trains 63 cpl 38 cpl (10% GST rebate + excise reduced by 25cpl)IV). Marine 63 cpl 20 cpl (10% GST rebate + excise reduced by 43cpl)➥10 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSOne of more than 100 CNG buses currently being operated in Sydney by the State Transit Authority.■ Fuel cost - around 33-40 cents per cubic metre;■ Heavy vehicle conversions - an extra $50,000approximately (engine $25,000, tanks/fittings$20,000); and■ Light vehicle conversions - $2,500 - $4,000.Tax Package ImplicationsThe proposed new tax system will completely removethe current price advantage that natural gas enjoys andlead to the very opposite environmental effects that weare attempting to achieve. The expected price changes tonatural gas are shown in the table opposite (they assumea 10 per cent GST rate and two levels of diesel fuel excisereduction of 25 cpl and 43 cpl).The results of these price changes are obvious; naturalgas, the clean-burning, non-polluting fuel, will not be ableto compete with diesel fuel which emits a very muchhigher level of pollution.Overseas ExperienceNew Zealand in the 1980s was a world leader in the useof environmentally friendly natural gas vehicles. In 1986there were some 400 public NGV refuelling stations andmore than 100,000 natural gas vehicles displacing 5.4 PJ(140 million litres) of petrol annually.In the late 1980s the diesel excise was reduced by $NZ0.26 per litre without compensatory measures to maintainthe use of alternative fuels. As a consequence, dieselconsumption doubled between 1991 and 1998. There arestill some buses running on NGV in New Zealand, but theoverall NGV market has collapsed to a fifth of the 1986level and is still falling.If the New Zealand experience of radical increases indiesel usage is repeated in Australia the problem of dieselparticulate pollution will become acute.By contrast, major developed countries have policiesin place to facilitate the growth of alternative, clean fuelvehicles.In Canada federal and provincial governments haveimplemented programs to promote the growth ofalternative fuel usage. Measures include grants for NGVrefuelling station establishment and vehicle conversions,and reduced fuel tax for NGVs.In the USA the Clean Air Act and the Energy PolicyAct require that:■ Fleets of more than 10 cars or trucks in designatedcities must include alternative fuel vehicles.■ Within metropolitan areas with populations over250,000 federal fleets must include alternative fuelvehicles from 1993, state fleets from 1996 and localgovernment fleets from 1999.■Tax deductions are given for alternative fuel fleetvehicle purchases and refuelling.The mix of government mandates and incentives hasproduced notable results. The government-owned USPostal Service is operating 7,000 natural gas vehicles inits fleet.This is the single largest NGV fleet anywhere in theworld. It also demonstrates the strong environmentalcommitment of a major government enterprise.➥MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 11

MOTORING DIRECTIONSIn the UK recent legislation affecting the rate of petroland diesel excise has improved the financial attractivenessof alternative fuels. This is expected to continue on thebasis of future real increases (minimum of six per cent ayear) in duty rates on petrol and diesel, and other fiscalincentives for alternative fuels.Financial assistance is also available from EuropeanUnion funded programs and the UK Energy Savings Trustthrough the Energy Efficiency Powershift program. ThePowershift program funds up to 50 per cent of the cost ofconversion of vehicles, or in the case of originalmanufacture vehicles, 50 per cent of the difference in costbetween the alternative fuel vehicle and the petrol ordiesel vehicle.In conclusion, there are significant social andenvironmental costs generated by the ever-increasingnumber of vehicles on our roads and in the increasingdistances they travel. The proposed taxation changes inrelation to diesel fuel will have a significant negative effecton our environment.The deterioration of our air quality has reachedserious levels in the metropolitan areas of our capital andmajor cities, where pollution from vehicle emissions isincreasing. The task force is urging the FederalGovernment to reconsider the proposed tax changes inthe context of their environmental and social impacts onour cities.■This article is based on a paper presented to theGreat Eco-Auto Challenge conference held in May thisyear by the Society of Automotive Engineers-Australasia and Automotive Training Australia■National EnvironmentalStrategyCommonwealth, state and territory Transport andEnvironment Ministers have endorsed a nationalmotor vehicle environment strategy aimed at coordinatingefforts to improve vehicle designstandards, fuels and vehicle maintenance, andreduce traffic congestion.A major objective is to ensure that new emissionand other standards harmonise with internationalstandards to avoid unnecessary compliance costs forAustralian vehicle manufacturers and importers.Key projects include:■ A review of emission standards for light and heavypetrol and diesel vehicles.■ An assessment of the effects on the petroleumindustry of meeting tougher emission standards.■ Consideration of mandatory fuel emissionlabelling for passenger cars.■ An investigation into improving the fuelconsumption of new vehicles by 15 per cent overbusiness as usual by 2010.■ Development of an in-service noise test for enginebrakes.■■Evaluation of the NSW in-service vehicleinspection and maintenance system andconsideration of the introduction of similarpolicies in other states and territories.Evaluation of the costs and economic impacts toindustry and other parties of these measures.The strategy was developed by the Motor VehicleEnvironment Committee (MVEC), which wasestablished by the National Road TransportCommission and National Environment ProtectionCouncil last year to take a joint transport/environmentapproach to managing the impact of vehicles on theenvironment.Also represented on MVEC are the Federal Officeof Road Safety, Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW,WA Department of Transport, Victorian and SouthAustralian Environment Protection Authorities, andEnvironment Australia.Other transport and environment agencies andindustry associations, vehicle manufacturers andinterest groups provided input to the strategy.■12 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSPrior to her recent appointment as NRMA Theft Control Manager, Jenny Davidson spent 17 years in the NSW Police Service, includingeight years in crime intelligence and analysis. Here she discusses the –Insurer’s Strategy to Reducethe Cost of Car Theft ClaimsNRMA’s car theft volumes, or the number ofclaims lodged, rose in NSW and the ACT bymore than 30 per cent in the five years between1993 and mid-1998.More significantly, though, the cost of theseclaims increased by 130 per cent over the same period.These costs are the result of the increasing proportion ofstolen vehicles either unrecovered or recovered as totallosses, indicating a dramatic rise in the incidence ofprofessional theft.Having identified this alarming trend, NRMA decidedthat a concerted effort was required to, in the firstinstance, halt the trend and then, through co-ordinatingand integrating preventative strategies across a range offunctions, reverse the trend.The objective over the next five years is to not onlyreduce the incidence of theft, but significantly impact onthe cost of theft claims (see figure 1).Obviously, the rate of theft is not the only factorcontributing to costs and the problem must be attackedon several fronts. At NRMA we are reviewing the problemfrom a range of perspectives, and so our researchexamines issues such as:■ the nature of theft;■■the circumstances surrounding the stealing of thosevehicles never recovered or those that are recoveredafter a lengthy period of time; andthe recovery rate and patterns of recovery.Target HardeningThe condition of recovered vehicles can tell us whatmeasures we can take for target hardening of new andexisting vehicles.Our strategies can be categorised into two streams:opportunistic theft and fraud; and professional theft andfraud.The strategies developed are not exclusive to onecategory but, generally, one strategy may impact theopportunist more readily than the professional thief andvice-versa. The professional thief’s motivation usuallyincreases their persistence or willingness to take risks inobtaining the targeted vehicle.By way of example, target hardening a vehicle, eitherin the manufacturing stage or through introducing aftermarketsecurity devices, reduces the likelihood of thatvehicle being stolen by the opportunistic thief who hasmissed the last train home.FIGURE 1NSW & ACT: TOTAL CAR THEFT COST - POTENTIAL SAVINGS$80,000,000$60,000,000$40,000,000$20,000,000$-Jun-91Jun-92Jun-93Jun-94Jun-95Jun-96Jun-97Jun-98Jun-99Jun-00Jun-01Jun-02Jun-03Jun-04Jun-05Jun-06MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 13

MOTORING DIRECTIONSA breakdown of our claims data (seefigure 2) illustrates the logic in our twostreamapproach to the car theft problem.While I know police do not includetheft from vehicles in their vehicle theft $160,000,000figures, from an insurance perspective it is$140,000,000still another claim that is paid out.Vehicles stolen and recovered that are $120,000,000repairable are more likely to have been $100,000,000stolen by the opportunistic thief. They haveprobably been used for joyriding, transport $80,000,000when no other means was available or $60,000,000perhaps as transport to assist other$40,000,000criminal activity.It is unlikely the thief intended to $20,000,000permanently deprive the owner of the$-vehicle. Nor is it likely that the owner wasinvolved in the stealing, unless of coursethey are a bit hopeless and their very poorattempt at fraud did not quite go to plan.This figure has remained virtuallyunchanged over the period, even with theincrease in cost of parts and repairs overthat time.Of most interest to us are the theft unrecovered andtotal loss recovery categories. From 1994 to 1998 weexperienced our greatest increase, both in incidence andcost, in these two categories.For this reason there are various business units withinNRMA that regularly review patterns of theft as well astheir own role, practice and procedures to develop anddetermine innovative strategies that complementtraditional approaches to preventing or minimising theimpact of both theft and fraud.To broaden our research base and enable objectiveand independent examination of information holdings,we also routinely engage others, for example, theAustralian Institute of Criminology.To help co-ordinate the various actions and interestsof each business unit it is helpful to group them underthe following headings:■ those that we control;■ those where we can act unilaterally; and■ those where we can influence events or other parties.As an organisation, the things we can control are:■ our assessing practices;■ our claims processing practices;■ our underwriting practices;■ our car insurance product features; and■ our investigations policies and practices.A project team was established last year to review ourclaims and assessing processes for dealing with car theftFIGURE 2CAR THEFT BY CLAIM TYPE—NRMA DATA FOR NSW & ACT1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98Theft fromTheft recovered(repairable)claims. Team membership was drawn from a number ofareas including, but not exclusive to, claims.An objective and constructive approach identifiedareas where claims costs could be reduced and frauddetection capability enhanced. The review identified:■ specific specialist training needs;■ optimum resourcing levels to appropriately attend tosuspicious transactions;■ the need to provide feedback to the front line whenfraud is identified;■ the need for a greater degree of accountability fordecisions made and actions taken by staff; and■ a need to review the cost benefits associated withwriting off recovered vehicles.Holistic ApproachTheft unrecoveredTheft recovered(total loss)Another area where we are experiencing continualimprovement is our investigations. An agreed formalpolicy on fraud acknowledges the holistic approachrequired to prevent fraud and validates the requirementthat investigations, while being conducted fairly andobjectively, must some times also be intrusive.There will always be a need to investigate individualmatters referred for investigation. However, some matterswill get better results than others in terms of result percost.➥14 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSBy combining intelligence analysis, varied experiencein the insurance industry and specialist investigativeexperience, a dynamic team environment for conductingpro-active operations is now developing within ourinvestigations unit.Ongoing pattern and trend analysis, along withgeneric commodity flow processing, will not only guidethis pro-active targeting of fraud offenders, but willenhance our ability to strategically counter the illicit rebirthingindustry.A recent example of ourability to disrupt what couldbest be described as aresurrecting, rather than rebirthing,industry was NRMA’swithdrawal from auction ofvehicles that have beensubstantially stripped. Thissingle process, while costingthe organisation considerablesalvage proceeds, has eliminated a major input to a knownre-birthing operation.Former regular, less desirable attendees at ourauctions have moved on to other auction sites.We have experienced considerable reductions in boththe incidence and cost of claims, and while we do notclaim this is solely due to the withdrawal of the wrecks, itscontribution must be recognised. Other insurers may wishto consider the possible impact of this strategy.The value-adding to information will generate thequality intelligence needed to sell the benefits of cooperativepartnering with other interested groups, be theyinternal clients, other industry or relevant governmentagencies.As a publicly recognised leader in motoring servicesprovided to the community we can act through:■■■■■community programs;car park ratings and similar initiatives;gaining media support for our strategies;our ability to promote improved vehicle design interms of in-built security; andour ability to rate and promote appropriate aftermarketsecurity devices.Our vast data holdings enable us to build on ourknowledge in all of these areas.Through our community relations activities NRMAcontributes to informed public debate on various issuesas well as identifying and managing sponsorships ofcommunity based initiatives.A range of information is provided by our Crime Safepublications through our retail branches and communityrelations branch. We distribute information throughprogram partners such as community safety officerswithin the NSW Police Service.investigations, while being conductedfairly and objectively, must some timesalso be intrusive.Our investigators frequently deliver educationprograms to schools, universities and community groups.For example, year 11 and 12 students, who have justbecome licensed and may well soon have access to theirown vehicles or their parents’, are told what constitutesfraud and what the consequences of being charged withinsurance fraud are.An initiative we have recently become involved in isHandbrake Turn, a 10-week program that providesvocational training, basicautomotive repair skills andpersonal developmentsupport services for young,first-time car theft offenders.This early intervention isaimed at reducing juvenileinvolvement in car theft.Complementary to thesecommunity initiatives is ourpromotion of more effective security for vehicles, startingon the factory floor. NRMA has had enormous success incommunicating the benefits of improved vehicle security,its 100 points rating system now being utilised worldwide.While manufacturers have been the primary target fordissemination of the technical specifications developedby our research team, the information is freely availableto the community through our Crime Safe productions.With a membership base of more than 1.4 million,NRMA has a responsibility to try to influence decisionswhere the outcome affects our members.■■■■■■We provide support to governments at federal andstate level to enact enabling legislation.We work with police for greater priority to be givento car theft.We participate in the National Motor Vehicle TheftCouncil.We liaise with bodies such as the Roads and TrafficAuthority to ensure complementary processes andprocedures.As a member of the Insurance Council of Australiawe encourage broad industry support for initiativestargeting car theft reduction.As a member of the Australian AutomobileAssociation we support initiatives on behalf of allmotorists.Recent activities we have been involved in with NSWpolice are Operations Gore and Lazarus, which targetedorganised theft and re-birthing operations in the Sydneymetropolitan area and have received considerablepublicity. NRMA provided funding for resources,equipment and storage facilities as well as informationthat contributed to a robust intelligence base forinvestigations that resulted in a number of arrests.➥MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 15

MOTORING DIRECTIONSExchange of InformationOur research on trends and patterns is routinelyconsulted by police and various research groups. In thenext few months we will bepursuing the establishment ofkey points of strategicalignment with policeservicesto facilitate appropriateand lawful exchange ofinformation relevant to illicitactivity.Information concerningsuspicious activities, organisations or individuals broughtto our notice, either through members or our own proactiveinquiries, will be passed on to police and otherrelevant organisations.The various functions and roles I have outlined areeither directly, indirectly or jointly acted on or evaluatedwithin the NRMA theft reduction strategy. The value ofeach of these projects is largely influenced by the degreeIn the next few months we will bepursuing the establishment of keypoints of strategic alignment withpolice servicesto which each is followed up and co-ordinated within theoverall program.The need for co-ordination and integration led to theestablishment of the position of Theft Control Managerand my subsequentappointment.Obviously, car theft is notonly a concern to NRMAand other insurers. Itsconsequence is feltthroughout the community.The community isconcerned, not only by theflow-on effect to their insurance premiums of rising theftcosts, but also by the tragic consequences of car theft that,while small in number, are never small in impact.■This article is based on a paper presented to anInternational Association of Auto TheftInvestigators conference held in March.■National Road RulesAll states and territories, except WA, have agreed tointroduce national road rules by next year. WAintends to implement the majority of the changes,which will be different for each state and territory,depending on their existing rules.The new rules were developed by the NationalRoad Transport Commission (NRTC) in conjunctionwith state and territory road authorities, police,motoring organisations, the Commonwealth Office ofLegislative Drafting, and state and territoryParliamentary Counsel.They include:■ Keeping left on multi-lane roads in speed zonesover 80 km/h unless overtaking.■ Banning the use of hand-held mobile phoneswhile driving.■ Permitting footpath cycling for children under 12.■ Banning rollerbladers and skateboarders frommajor roads.It is estimated that adoption of the national rulescould cost more than $50 million, but could saveupwards of $160 million in road trauma over 10 yearsas well as enabling more effective enforcement, simpleradministration and better understanding of trafficlaws.The changes apply only to the basic road rules anddo not cover drink-driving and some other matterswhich are being progressed separately.■16 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSDevelopments in intelligent transport systems have enabled a great deal of information about vehicles to be obtained, examined andstored if necessary. According to AAA’s Engineer Executive, Brian Wells, there is -Strong Potential for ITS inCombating Vehicle TheftIntelligent transport systems (ITS) is the term usedto describe linkages between systems, or wholesystems, designed to improve the efficient flow oftransport, principally vehicle traffic. Since theconcept was developed 20 or more years ago manyexamples of linkages and complete systems havebecome available.A linkage of traffic signals and signs is an example ofa simple system designed to improve traffic flow. Once aflow pattern can be discerned it can be controlled eitherautomatically or remotely by means of time intervalsignalling or remote observers actually directing traffic bymeans of signal alterations.In the latter case, actual visual images of traffic and thecomponents such as trucks, buses and cars, evenpedestrians and cyclists, can be obtained and stored bymeans of remote video cameras. Other signals come fromroad antenna loops or from pole mounted radar atpedestrian crossings for instance.Actual visual images of traffic can be obtained and stored bymeans of remote video cameras, road antenna loops or polemountedradar.Systems such as Safe-T-Cam in NSW can scrutinisenumber plates and other vehicle details which can thenbe compared with other data – for instance, acomputerised list of stolen vehicles. But such use oftechnology could easily create concerns about abuse ofprivacy.In terms of vehicle theft, recovery and apprehension,ITS can be a vital accessory to standard practice. We needto balance the isssues to achieve a result.Of course, security of the vehicle (or its cargo) isessential to foil thieves. If the vehicle or cargo does gomissing, what can ITS do for their detection and recovery,and hopefully the apprehension of the thief?ITS systems of one sort or another now coversubstantial areas of the populated earth, includingAustralia.ITS at present can be utilised in traffic flow, on- andoff-vehicle information, and positioning for trucks andbuses. It can deliver time-to-destination information,direct vehicles to parking stations, provide mapinformation, weather forecasts, road conditions,accommodation information and bookings, and ingeneral, act like a PC on the move.So how can it be adapted to detect, find and recoverstolen vehicles or cargoes?Almost since the discovery of radio frequencytransmissions, directed radio signals have been used topin-point a map location, or a transmitter moving orstationary in an area. Two illustrations come to mind ofboth systems.The Luftwaffe used intersecting beams of radio wavesto direct aircraft to a bombing target in the Second WorldWar. The aircraft flew along a beam signal received on theaircraft radio and, where the beams intersected, thereceived signal changed and bombs could be deliveredregardless of visibility or map reading and navigationalability.Using two or more directional beams can pin-point atarget. If a radio transmitter is in a field of observation ittoo can be pin-pointed with surprising accuracy by using➥MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 17

MOTORING DIRECTIONSdirection finding aerials, the opposite of the navigationalbeams.This technique has been used for many years to locateanimals, people, ships, aircraft and so on. The EPIRBbeacon or the transponder on a boat is an example.The technology is well understood, simple, ruggedand easy to apply. A simple example is the system in whicha transmitter on a stolen vehicle is activated and the signalis detected by an aerial array such that its compass bearingcan be used to find it from another moving vehicle.Many such systems exist in various parts of the worldto trace cars, cargoes, etc and they mainly function wellwithin the boundaries of their signal power, interferenceand battery duration.It is possible to send an interrogation signal to bepicked up by a transponder which is then activated totransmit a coded frequency identifying the vehicle. Itsposition is then pin-pointed on a grid reference map orit can be plotted or followed as it moves.Again this is relatively simple and the chance of vehiclerecovery is significantly improved. Naturally, relativelysimple systems grow to become relatively complexsystems.Electronic AccessInterlinks between systems which may have beendevised for other purposes become available. Electronicaccess to systems and their data bases becomes easier andenables rapid checking of vehicle details, ownership andauthorised position.In theory a vehicle or driver under suspicion could belooked up on registration files, driver licensing files,vehicle manufacturers’ VIN files, insurance files, creditcard files and probably with the Register of Births,Marriages and Deaths, Customs, Telstra and any numberof other printed and public data sources, including thepolice National Exchange of Vehicle and DriverInformation System (NEVDIS).All this could occur almost instantly and someinterlinks are currently available. The diagram below ofthe likely process when a vehicle is reported stolen showsthat three methods at least can be used to find andrecover it and/or the cargo.In this case ITS is regarded as a separate entity fromtracking systems because the latter can be specificallyfocussed on a vehicle, moving or stationary, that has atransponder fitted and is within the operating range of➥VEHICLE REPORTED STOLEN➧ ➧NOTIFY POLICEPOLICE CHECK AUTHENTICITY OF REPORT➧NAME, ADDRESS, VEHICLE DESCRIPTION, REGONUMBER, LAST POSITION, ETC➧NOTIFICATION FROM POLICE TO➧ ➧ ➧ ➧ ➧ITS VISUAL OR BEACON TRACKING SYSTEM TRADITIONALPROVIDERMETHODSINTERROGATION USING INTERROGATION BY OBSERVATIONS, FIELDTRANSPONDER IF FITTED TRANSPONDER, VIA GPS OR REPORTS, POLICEBEACONPROCEDURESVEHICLE DETECTEDAPPROXIMATEPOSITION NOTIFIED TOPOLICE➧➧ ➧ ➧VEHICLE LOCATIONINFORMATION TOPOLICE➧➧STANDARDPROCEDURES APPLIEDMOVING VEHICLESTOPPED BY REMOTESIGNAL18 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSthe service provider. A general ITS system may have beendesigned, or have features within its system, that enableforms of interrogation and checking to take place.For instance, surveillance cameras can be linked tocheck number plates for stolen vehicle identification.This linkage, if available, enables a rough position for thevehicle on some parts of the road network.At least it has been observed passing a camera. Shouldit then pass another camera, hopefully linked to the samesystem, two points have been established on a track andlocal police could be notified that it is in their area.The same applies if atransponder is fitted to avehicle or cargo. A beaconsystem can call up thetransponder and, as it passesvarious beacons, its passagecan be tracked and notified.This type of system takes timeto activate and identificationof position is not especiallyaccurate, but it is certainlybetter than nothing.Two-Way CommunicationWithin ITS there are numerous tracking systemswhich utilise two-way communication via satellite or jointsatellite and beacon networks.The potential for effective anti-theft measures that isavailable is substantial.A vehicle equipped with an immobiliser is regardedas difficult to steal but means remain for thieves to acquiresuch a vehicle. The worst scenario is probably byassaulting and ejecting the driver, but it is not impossibleto obtain access by other means.Anyway, let us assume the stolen vehicle is underway,the immobiliser is deactivated but our thief has not hadtime to inspect for a geographic position system (GPS)and deactivate it, although this could, of course, lead toactivation of the immobiliser.The vehicle may have a system on it which detectsunauthorised use and covertly signals the tracking systemprovider, or the rightful owner or driver, if still capable,may alert the provider and police.Provided that the thief has not had time to disable theGPS and/or transponder, the vehicle system can be calledup, the position of the vehicle identified with someaccuracy and vehicle details can be checked. Notificationcan be passed to the police if the vehicle is moving, or ifit is stationary for some length of time it can be remotelydisabled.It would be pretty good if the doors could all be lockedas well and such systems already exist, but there are somelegal complications.Thief catching via ITS is only limited byimagination as the precise position of avehicle, the identity of its driver andpossibly the value of its cargo becomeeasier to establish.The motoring organisations are trialing systems foridentification, tracking and immobilising vehicles andthese can remotely unlock doors in controlled andauthorised circumstances. This service forms part of atotal customer ITS package being provided on a pilotmarket basis, and as the systems develop, so thesophistication will increase.Linkages are vital but, of course, there is a markedreluctance by some data base owners to provide access.Privacy considerations are important and in some areasit may be essential ‘not to know’ who is driving a trackedvehicle or the whereabouts ofa tracked cargo.However, motorists wouldwant to have at least the dataessential to the recovery oftheir cars made available andthese vital linkages will needexamination as more systemsand vehicles come into theanti-theft aspect of ITS.Essentially, each vehicle orcargo could be fitted with acoded identifying transponder and/or GPS.Therefore the exact identification of the on-vehiclesystem could be initially checked against other data andappropriate action taken. This could occur by visualspotting via surveillance camera or via vehicle-totransmitteror transmitter-to-transponder means.Access to data bases initially may not be extensive, butas an investigation proceeds then some aspects of privacyor provision of data may need to be considered in theinterests of public benefit.In summary, ITS as it exists already has the potentialto be of powerful assistance in vehicle anti-theft measures.Systems are developing rapidly, the cost is reducing andthe number of installations is rising.Areas covered are increasing, linkages are beingestablished and increased. Vehicle ownership details canbe identified and active procedures such as remoteimmobilising are available.In the near future new facilities such as panic buttons,air bag deployment notification, remote engine controland voice messaging will become common place as theITS program develops.Thief catching via ITS is only limited by imaginationas the precise position of a vehicle, the identity of its driverand possibly the value of its cargo become easier toestablish.Provisions need to be made in law and motor trafficlegislation to allow the potential to be further developed.Some small sacrifices of privacy and data access may wellbe accepted when ITS takes its full place alongsidetraditional methods of reducing the theft of vehicles andMOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 19➥

MOTORING DIRECTIONScargoes, which costs the community in actual loss and/or costs around $750 million per year.ITS ArchitectureIf policing and anti-theft measures are to be effectivelyincorporated into ITS it should be recognised that ITSarchitecture is currently being prepared and apreliminary version of the national ITS referencearchitecture has already been circulated to stakeholders.Vehicle detection and location for anti-theft purposesdoes not feature in the extensive list of provisions in thereference architecture. Apparently not enough interestwas shown by state police policy departments, but thearchitects are keen to have consent from all sources onthis matter before it is too late.It will need some clarity of vision on the part of policeforces to recognise that corporate or mutual stakeholdersare positioned to provide several nation-wide servicenetworks which can play a vital part in anti-theft measuresand that these networks are not under police or evengovernmental control.The ITS Australia co-operative has as one of itsobjectives to promote the orderly implementation of ITStechnologies. The great public and social benefit ofaccessing this network via the architecture has beenaddressed by the Australian Transport Council ofMinisters, which has requested ITSA to develop a nationalstrategy.ITSA, CSIRO and intelligent transport specialists arepreparing this architecture for future industry use basedon fundamental system principles to satisfy user demand.Anti-theft measures certainly deserve a place in thisarchitecture.■This article is based on a paper presented to anInternational Association of Auto Theft Investigatorsconference held in March.■In BriefNATIONAL OPERATION STANDARDSFOR VEHICLESNational standards for the operation of vehicles,intended to ensure they are maintained to the samerequirements as when new, are scheduled to beintroduced by the middle of the year following theirapproval by Transport Ministers.The standards are based on the Australian DesignRules (ADRs), which apply to the construction of newvehicles, and on current best practice in the states andterritories. Although new measures will be introducedfor some vehicles not subject to ADRs, many localrequirements will be abolished.The changes are not expected to affect the greatmajority of vehicles and will vary among the states andterritories, depending on their existing standards.Major requirements include:■ Uniform smoke and noise emission standards.■ A national speed rating of 180 km/h for tyres.■ National standards for historic vehicles.■ Automatic approval of left-hand-drive vehiclesmore than 30 years old.The new standards were prepared by the NationalRoad Transport Commission in consultation with roadauthorities, vehicle and component manufacturers andsuppliers, road user groups, police and environmentagencies. Details are available on the NRTC’s web site( PARKING GUIDEVicRoads, in conjunction with the NationalAssociation for Disability Services, has produced aguide explaining the application of disability parkingschemes operating in all states and territories.The guide provides details for holders of permitsof the parking fee payment requirements for exclusivebays and time concessions available in ordinaryparking bays. It also sets out information on the use ofoverseas permits and the availability of temporarypermits for visitors from overseas.Copies are available from the state and territorymotoring organisations or from the VicRoadsbookshop (phone 03-9854 2782, fax 03-9854 2468,email■20 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSPetrol Price MonitorAAA audits and publishes petrol prices to assist in thetransparency process and to ensure consumers haveaccess to up-to-date data.This monitoring followed the introduction on 1August 1998 of the Federal Government’s petrolmarketing reforms. Analysis of monthly petrol prices willenable the AAA to gauge whether the reforms arereducing volatility in petrol prices and in particular,narrowing the gap between city and regional prices.Prices for all 100 locations monitored are available at upcoming issues of Motoring Directions, we will lookat petrol prices in Queensland, South Australia, WesternAustralia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.Note: Since 1 August 1998, the AustralianCompetition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) hascontinued to calculate the Import Parity Indicator (IPI)on a daily basis. According to the ACCC the IPI is basedon international ex-refinery petroleum prices (not crude oil) forthe Singapore market. Prices there closely reflect those in othermajor world petroleum product markets and it is the likely sourceof imports in Australia.cents per li80.077.575.072.5Average Monthly Petrol Prices in Australia's Capital CitiesSydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaidePerthHobartDarwinImport Parity IndDarwinHobart70.067.565.0Import Parity IndPerthSydneyMelbourneAdelaide62.560.057.5Brisbane55.0August 98 September 98 October 98 November 98December 98 January 99 February 99 March 99Note: Unlike other States, the Queensland Government provides a rebate of 8.2 cents per litre to resellersMOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 21

MOTORING DIRECTIONScents per liAverage Monthly Petrol Prices in New South Wales80.077.575.072.5Coffs HarbTamworthBathurstAlbury70.067.565.062.560.057.5AlburyBathurstCoffs HarbourMaitlandTamworthImport Parity IndiSydneyImport ParityI di tMaitlandSydney55.0August 98 September 98 October 98 November 98 December 98 January 99 February 99 March 99cents per liAverage Monthly Petrol Prices in Victoria80.077.5Mildura75.072.5BenallaBairnsdale70.067.565.062.560.057.5MelbourneImport Parity IndiBairnsdaleBenallaGeelongMilduraSheppartonSheppartonImport Parity IndiMelbourneGeelong55.0August 98 September 98 October 98 November 98December 98 January 99 February 99 March 9922 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5

MOTORING DIRECTIONSConferences and Events 19991999May 3-5:National regional tourism conference, Regions – the Heartof Tourism, Mount Gambier (SA), inquiries – StaffordsConference Management, phone (08) 83641005, fax (08)8332 8810, email: enquiries@staffords.on.netMay 18:Iinternational conference on Intelligent TransportSystems Australia, Smart Solutions at Work, Adelaide,inquiries - phone (08) 8227 0252,, website 19-20:4 th annual regional conference, Automotive Asia ’99,Bangkok, inquiries - the Asia Business Forum, fax (662)652-0806May 23-28:International Pacific conference on automotiveengineering, Manufacturing Future Mobility, Melbourne,inquiries - phone (02) 6257 3299, .auJuly 4-7:3 rd Asia Pacific Intelligent Transport Systems Seminar,Kuala Lumpur, inquiries – Road Engineering Associationof Malaysia, fax +60-3-7548376, email ream@po.jaring.myJuly 20-23:International symposium on Satellite Navigation Technology& Applications, Brisbane, inquiries - phone (07) 33697866, fax (07) 3367 1471, email 13-14:Australian Tourism Research Institute Tourism Outlookconference, Sydney, inquiries – Sue Clifford-Loomes,Southern Cross University, phone (02) 6620 3354, 29-October 1:Australasian Transport Research Forum conference,Integrating the New and Different, Perth, inquiries - Ian Ker(Department of Transport), phone (08) 9226 2297, 5-6:Society of Automotive Engineers-Australasia YoungEngineers Conference, Creating Young Ambassadors forAustralia, Melbourne, inquiries – SAE-A, phone (03) 93267166, fax (03) 9326 7244, email 7-11:Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, Toronto,inquiries - phone (02) 6247 38932000February 11-12:8 th biennual Australasian Traffic Education Conference,Town and Country Driving: Driving into the Millenium,Armidale (NSW), inquiries - EastAus Management Unit,phone/fax (02) 6772 3943MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5 23

MOTORING DIRECTIONSTHE ROLE OF THE AAAEstablished in 1924, the Australian Automobile Association serves asthe federal secretariat of the state and territory motoringorganisations. The AAA represents the interests of these constituentorganisations, their members and, indirectly, all Australianmotorists at the national and international level.THE AAA VISIONTo help co-ordinate Constituents in maintaining world beststandards of motoring services.THE AAA MISSIONTo promote the interests of Australian motorists by influencingpublic policy and the efficient use of member organisation servicesamong Constituents.CONSTITUENT MEMBERSNRMA LimitedRoyal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) LtdThe Royal Automobile Club of Queensland LimitedRoyal Automobile Association of South Australia, Inc.The Royal Automobile Club of W.A., (Incorporated)The Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania LimitedRoyal Automobile Club of AustraliaAutomobile Association of Northern Territory Inc.24 MOTORING DIRECTIONS AUTUMN 1999 ISSUE 1 VOLUME 5


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