Learner riders face tougher restrictions

Learner rider - Calum demonstrates slow riding techniques safety contract business

Learner riders may have to do more off-road training, face a longer learner licence period and pass tougher skills tests to move to unrestricted licences.

These measures are part of a Queensland Government scheme to improve motorcycle safety.

The announcement was accompanied by an $8 million pledge to upgrade known motorcycle black spots, starting with more than $2.5 million to upgrade the scenic Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns by widening parts of the highway, installing guardrails and removing roadside hazards.

Captain Cook Highway learner riders
Captain Cook Highway

Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey says the licensing measures and road works are designed to enhance safety for motorbike riders.

“So far this year, we’ve had a spike in motorcycle fatalities with double the number of deaths compared to the same time last year,” he says.

“We need to turn these statistics around. We launched a motorcycle safety campaign ahead of the June school holiday period to remind riders of the need to mind those bends.

“Motorbike riders are among the most likely to be seriously injured or killed on the road. That’s why we’re looking at reforms to motorcycle licensing, including off-road practical pre-learner training and assessments, a review of the learner licence period for motorcycle riders, and an evaluation of the skills riders should have as they move from restricted to unrestricted licences.”

By “off-road”, they mean reining in closed courses away from the road.Roadworks learner riders

The minister also promised much-need upgrades to roads.

“Then there’s the road itself. This year, we’re spending more than $8 million across Queensland on projects to improve road safety for motorbike riders. These funds will be spent on known motorcycle black spots,” he says.

“We’re removing trees too close to the road to give motorbike riders better visibility. We’re putting up crash protection barriers and roadside warning signs. We’re installing a number of flashing signs that tell drivers and riders when they’re speeding.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. But if it’s left to governments alone, it will never work. We must all work together to stem the needless loss of lives on our roads.”


  1. In Queensland there are no requirements (other than 30 questions) for learners to undertake any course to obtain a Learners Permit. Pass the written test and you are officially given a piece of paper to go on the road. For most riders this is with no knowledge or any motorcycling skills, other than those passed on by a mate that learnt from a mate who got his licence out of a wheeties packet. If you survive, the very next day you can undertake a Qride licence course and may just JAG your RE licence.
    Our learners need to have an understanding of HOW TO STOP in an emergency, where to look, countersteering, and what are road hazards, prior to venturing out on the streets. As a trainer it alarms me when I get people coming in for licencing and some of the “tricks of the trade” their mates and spouses have taught them. (One woman’s husband told her to just sort of lean her head in to turn).
    I hear talk that T.M.R. Will seek public comment on this via a discussion paper that will go out within the next couple of months.
    Hopefully people will see the virtue of getting some formal training prior to “hitting the road” on their learners. Unfortunately, in alot of circumstances, the “hip pocket” tightens up and people begrudge having to pay for more training, so I can see many of the general public may well voice an opinion against any worthy change. I can only hope that common sense prevails.

  2. Was there any wisper of dates for this as Im on my p’s about to go to opens and wondered if i be caught in this. I think better awareness of motorbikes should be part of training of car users this would make a larger impact i believe in saving lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5rTIODzzC8 Also MUCH bigger penalties for mobile phone use such as 1000 fines for a first offence and confiscating of car for repeated offence.

  3. I`m glad to see the governments are starting to direct some attentions towards rides and too see that they are finally pledging funds for motorcycle related infrastructure improvements but I don`t know about the learner time. I don`t see how making the L times longer would help to improve rider safety. I would make the exams more difficult and increase the requirements for moving from one category to the next.

    I don`t know how it is in Queensland but in SA you attend a rubbish, 2 days course where you learn where the start button is and how to park a bike and then they send you out on the streets. I would like to see more days of training, more advanced courses and the exam to be hard to pass…

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