Archive for category Driving & Cycling

eFlow – barrier-free tolling solution for the M50

Paying toll on passing a bridge.--From a paint...Image via Wikipedia

There are a couple of things I don’t understand about the new eFlow Barrier-Free system that is due to come into effect from the 30th of August…

  1. How can eFlow and the National Roads Authority get away with their advertising campaign of deceit?
  2. Why as a nation, do we put up with this stealth tax?

The eFlow advertising campaign is based around the idea that by registering now, we will somehow avail of a cheaper option for using the toll. From the outset it actually looks like you do save money. If you are registered with eFlow, your passage through the m50 toll bridge will cost just €2, whereas if you are unregistered the fee will actually be €3 a go.

That all sounds great until you read the terms and conditions…

To open an eFlow account, it costs €40!!***
It costs €1 per month for them to administer the account (whatever that means..).
On top of this, there is a minimum account balance of €12. Once your account hits this amount they will automatically top you up (by charging your credit card) at the minimum top up rate of €30.

For your fist year driving through the M50 toll, it will cost you a minimum of €40. If you go through more than 14 times in the year, your minimum cost will be €70. So in the time it takes you to spend €70 at the moment you will get through the toll 35 times compared to just 14 in the first year with the eFlow system.

Now, lets say you are someone like me who rarely uses the M50 toll bridge, at most I use it about 10 times a year. There doesn’t seem to be much point in me registering for eFlow. But I face a 50% increase in price for not being registered.

Add that to the inconvenience of it all. God forbid if I had a chance to go on holidays, I would have to go through the M50 toll to get to the airport. Well unless I get to the airport, check-in, find my departure gate and get to an Internet connection to pay my toll for coming to the airport (which has to be paid within 24 hours) I will return to a lovely bill of €46 from my two week holiday.

Why aren’t eFlow forced to show these terms and conditions in their adverts?

***Note: You can register for a video account for free – works much the same as not registering, but is €0.50 cheaper.

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Unaccompanied learner drivers off the road

Today marked the day that it became illegal for second provisional license holders to drive unaccompanied.

I spoke about it before and my attitude has still not changed. This law is well overdue and all the silly provisional license holders who believe this is a joke, need to get a reality check.

92,000 second provisional license holders – off the road… but are they? It was kind of weird this morning, I deliberately set out to spot the number of L plates on the road this morning. I didn’t see one, granted even in bad traffic it only takes me 30 mins to get to work.

So where have they gone? Have people simply peeled off their L plates as I predicted or have they actually stopped driving their cars? I spoke to a relation of mine this morning who works in a junior school and she said that there were a lot of women who were walking in the rain with their kids, who would normally be driving.

Have we just drove these drivers underground with this new law?

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Tiered driving license proposal

Medical Psychological Assessment

It was announced today that the Green Party are proposing a new tiered driving license system. They are suggesting that we have a system whereby people in rural locations will have a restricted license that will allow them to legally drive at certain times of the day and at certain speed limits etc.

The system is the brainchild of councillor Mary White, who today on Newstalk 106 said that it is aimed at people living in remote areas and elderly people who rely on their cars to get through their daily tasks. Adding to that she suggested that this license is for those who get nervous when they sit the real driving test.

What a complete farce!!!!!

For me, driving is black and white. You can either drive or you can’t. If you haven’t passed a driving test, you shouldn’t be in a car without a licensed driver. Why in this country do we always go out to make things more complicated than they actually are. You can drive or you can’t – how simple can it be???

Next thing they’ll be suggesting is a tiered drink driving system… oh yes… I know… they are already discussing this…

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Second provisional licence holders given more time

Hot on the heels of the governments announced last week on the new Road Safety Strategy 2007, Minister Noel Dempsey has now announced that the requirement for second provisional licence holders to be accompanied by a licenced driver of two years has been deferred until June 30th 2008.

What a typical example of our great government……

Announcing it in the first place, just showed how out of touch the government is with the real world, but this is just another example of why we should never take anything the government says seriously.

Personally I welcomed the new laws. The only people that seemed to disagree with it, were those who held provisional licences. In particular, those who held their second provisional licence.

I can’t help but as… What do you all expect?

Firstly, no-one on a first, third or fourth licence (or more) are meant to driver alone anyway so I don’t see what they are giving out about.

Second provisional license holders are one of a few things in my mind….

  • Too lazy or not bothered to apply for a driving test because they didn’t have to.
    or;
  • Drivers who have failed their driving test.
    or;
  • someone who has got a first license but never used it and reapplied again.

The only argument they seem to have is that they claim to be better drivers than some fully licenced drivers. I can’t disagree with that, however, the fact that the fully licenced driver went through a test, gives them more of a right to be on the road than those that haven’t or those that have failed.

As a country, we always knock change. Remember when  the smoking ban was announced? But no-one can say that hasn’t been a huge success can they?

Yes I do agree, concessions have to be made for those who have already applied for a test, but those who haven’t bothered, should be forced to drive with a fully licenced driver.

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Driving Test website down

I just tried to log on to www.drivingtest.ie – the site is down.

I guess the new road safety act has frightened thousands of people into trying to apply for a test on-line now. Just shows you how lazy most of those learner drivers actually are huh?

They knew there was no real benefit in having a full licence – until now of course!! So they finally get up off their backsides to apply for a test because they know they’ll need one very soon if they want to avoid large fines and penalty points.

So Fianna Fail, what you gonna do now about the driving test waiting lists?

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