Axe plans for hi-vis and older learners, says RTR

Rode to Review Tim Kelly learn licence licensing plans incorrect

Plans to mandate hi-vis clothing for learners and raise the motorcycle learner permit age to 18 have been slammed by a South Australian rider representative group.

Ride to Review spokesman Tim Kelly (pictured above) says the group has prepared a lengthy submission to the government over new licensing proposals, some of which they agree with and others they oppose.

They also make several counter proposals such as allowing novice riders to lane filter to protect themselves from rear-enders.

The South Australian Government is considering a range of proposals from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) based on a 2014 Austroads paper.

They include raising the rider age to 18 and mandating L & P plates, high-vis clothing and a night curfew for novices.

The deadline for public submissions has now passed.

Age limit plans

The Ride to Review submission says there is no research to support plans to increase the age limit for learner riders.

They propose that learner eligibility remain at 16 years “with additional focus on cognitive development and higher-order-thinking skills as part of the training processes”.

Plates and filtering

While the Ride to Review submission agrees with mandatory L and P plates, they say novice riders will be put a greater risk of rear-end collisions in traffic, as they will be ineligible to lane filter if required to display a ‘P’ Plate.

They propose that current lane-filtering legislation be updated to permit riders displaying P plates to filter.

Hi-vis clothingDucati HV1 Rev'It! fluoro jacket plans

The submission opposes plans to follow Victoria’s mandatory high-visibility closing for learner riders.

They point to several studies that find no conclusive proof that hi-vis reduces “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You” (SMIDSY) crashes.

Ride to Review’s submission recommends more comprehensive road craft training for riders to increase their conspicuity on the road.

“Being more aware of other road users’ blind spots in a variety of on-road situations …  will provide greater assistance towards motorcyclist conspicuity,” their submission says.

They also recommend that novice motorists be trained to look out for vulnerable road users.

Night curfewNight rider plans

The submission agrees that night time riding poses greater risks, but objects to the proposed midnight to 5am curfew as it does not reflect peak crash times and days.

It posts to Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) research that show peak motorcycle crash times are on weekends between 2 and 6pm.

Ride to Review proposes a weekend-only night time curfew with an exemption for riders using a motorcycle for transportation to and from work where public transport is not available.

Full submission

For those interested we have published the full Ride to Review submission to proposed Centre for Automotive Safety Research changes in the motorcycle graduated licensing system (GLS).

It was compiled by the group’s management committee with input from more than 2100 members and supporters, and research from Road Safety, Education and Psychological experts from within Australia, and internationally.

CLICK HERE To read the full proposal.

16 Comments

  1. Slightly off topic but in the vein of being seen or unseen as the case may be.
    I remembered about a visual phenomenon I will call DAZZLE as it sort of describes it.
    Dazzle is the effect of being blinded but not realising it due the Persistence Of Vision.
    Usually the images we see are not what we are seeing but what we saw a fraction of a second ago and they last until they are replaced by new images as the brain doesn’t resee everything it sees it remembers what it saw and looks for changes ( this is a lot like the MPEG video compression digital movies use). Dazzle occurs when some kind of visual overload happens, bright and or flashing lights ( but not necessarily blindingly bright just enough to leave an after image when you close your eyes will do) can cause the optic nerve or visual receptor cells to temporarily stop transmitting new visual data to the brain and the brain will simply hold on to what it last saw making you think you can still see. This phenomena only happens for a few tenths of a second to a second at most but when you are driving or riding being blind for even a fraction of a second can kill.

  2. Some great comments above
    After motorcycling in both Europe and USA/Canada, in which I found the general awareness of driver/riders seems to be a lot higher than here. To the extent that even as a pedestrian, not at a crossing of any sort , if we approached the curb car drivers would pull up to let us cross the road, this happened numerous times. This level of awareness is certainly not seen here.
    How do we change the whole road user attitude in Australia?
    That’s what needs to change!
    The hammering of speeding is not helping . I’m sure some people think they are safe just because they aren’t going quick , same with hivis and headlights on and load exhausts don’t fix it all.
    Our overseas experience showed they don’t bother with speed , in fact the flow on highways is 10 mph above the limit.
    Australia needs to train road users a lot better.
    For instance how many people know how to brake hard and safely.
    My wife and I practice braking regularly especially on our bikes.

    Train and change attitude

    1. Thanks for sharing and you are taking the best line to maneuver the bend in this discussion.
      On the point of loud exhausts – with everyone having cars with Air Con the windows are up, cars are more sound-proof than ever before and in-car entertainment drowns the motorcycle exhaust. Lets not forget the use of mobile phones and the rise in Bluetooth hands-free in cars.

      1. Don’t forget some motorcyclist’s have hands free phone’s too.
        On exhausts etc, I was trying to make the point that you can have lights on, hiviz etc . but the main way for motorcyclists to be safe is to ride defensively and have a high level of skill to avoid accidents
        I ride with the attitude that no one is necessarily seeing me.
        Everyone should be trained to be riding like that.

  3. Some of the points I like to put forward are:

    1. Motorcyclists are less likely to be noticed as in the case of a car/truck.
    2. Motorcycles can cover a distance quicker than a car.
    3. Car drivers learn to judge time and distance based on their years of driving they do not perceive time and distance in the same way as a motorcyclist. Motorist misjudge when they pull out thinking there is a safe distance between them and a oncoming motorcycle.
    4. Motorcycles blend more easily into traffic and remain unseen until it is to late for a motorist to react.
    5. On average I suspect motorists are on the look-out for other cars and less on motorcycles.
    6. On average a 16yo does not have sufficient road-sense to safely ride a motorcycle (my opinion only) A car maybe not he or she is at greater risk on a motorcycle when on public roads.
    7. It is not always easy for a motorcyclists to position his or her bike in the side mirrors and/or rear-vision mirror of a motorist.
    8. A motorcyclists is grossly unprotected and does suffer greater injury even at low speeds and the simple accident of falling down on his bike when stationary.

    In sum, instead of HI-Vis and P Plates a motorcyclist should by law be made to wear body Armour and protective gear – long sleeves, long trousers, shoulder and elbow protection and protective gloves.. It does not make sense to allow motorcyclists to get away with only wearing a helmet and be on his or her bike wearing a T-Shirt shorts and thongs.

    1. So you are going to start up a whole industry just to enforce this in Australia, there are NO standards for any of this. Why not do something easy like implement some of the rules that they have in Europe where the road toll is significantly lower than here. That would seem to be quite easy we already know what needs to be done, we know it works and does not require a police state to enforce it.

      1. Easier with modern technology to install warning systems in cars.
        But frankly most driver get no or very little training in road sense, and many simply lack the ability.
        One can desire to a top sports person, but never will be, same as with drivers. Better for such folks to use public transport, taxies or uber, and soon driverless cars. Tough pill to swallow, as long as a drivers license is seen as a right, which it is not, it is a privalege, one that has to be earned, and far tougher to obtain then it currently is

  4. The Onus is on the Motorcycle Rider to save themselves from a road accident. Other road users are not necessarily going to see a rider, even if that rider is wearing Hi viz. Motorcyclists have been riding with their headlight on for years. accidents still happen. Yes riding with headlights on and wearing Hi Viz can aid the view of others seeing a rider, especially in poor light, but wearing such is definitely not a guarantee that a rider will be seen by another road user. Making wearing Hi Viz a legal requirement is wrong as it won’t stop accidents and if an accident does occur, yet a rider is not wearing hi viz, the Law will blame the rider!!!! Best thing to avoid accidents is good road user training for all road users. But definitely Training for motorcyclists, so that motorcyclists are aware to ‘LOOK – THINK & ACT’ whilst keeping a good attitude and never to assume that another road user can see them, even if they are wearing Hi Viz or indeed flashing lights fitted. Well Done the SA Motorcycle Representative Group for good guidance and representation of Motorcyclists

  5. For a Start – DO NOT BE LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY by Wearing ANY HI VIS Clothing –
    The ONLY WAY to be SEEN by IDIOT DRIVERS is to EDUCATE, TRAIN & TEST the MORONS before allowing them behind the wheel …

    UNLESS you WEAR HI VIS Jackets that have WORDS like POLICE in Big Reflective letters Emblazoned across the Front & Back, AND to Have BLUE Flashing Lights on the motorcycle, will you only have a Chance of NOT Being HIT by Moronic idiotic so called Drivers …

    Because you are a ‘Smaller than Them’ mentality, the majority of drivers think that – ‘They will GET out of MY WAY’ – THEY JUST DO NOT CARE !!!
    RIDE SAFE – RIDE AWARE,
    frostbite

    1. While I agree with your goal of educating the morons, when I look into the dimwitted face of a 19 year old girl driving a 1.5 tonne killing machine while texting her hot new boyfriend, I have doubts that any education will stick. So I reach over and pull on my fluro vest, and pray to God that the flash of bright colour may register movement in her tiny mind.
      We can’t put our lives in the hands of car drivers, educated or not . We need to ride for us … and for them. As you say Frostbite, ride safe – ride aware … because drivers sure aren’t.

  6. I seem to recall that the majority of bike accidents that involve other road users are not caused by the motorcycle rider, yet this study seems to be targeting only the riders. While fluro jackets may have some beneficial visibility properties the real danger is if such is passed into law, and you then don’t use a high visibility jacket, or its old and or dirty, or not quite up to specifications, then the guy who didn’t see you can now blame you for not being visible!

    1. I do all I can to stay out of a wheelchair, so I wear a zip-up fluro vest ($12) over my leather, armoured jacket. Even if it helps me be seen 0.1% of the time, that means on my 1, 000th ride I will stay alive.

        1. Has nothing to do with visibilty.
          Having a little chihuahua barking at you, might make you notice it but you ignore as you know its bark is bigger then its bite. You can put all the hivis on that chihuahua, it would make one iota of a difference!

  7. Over my decades of riding here in Australia I have seen the standard of car and truck driving steadily drop, while levels of aggression and frustration have seen a corresponding rise – along with the incessant use of bloody mobile phones while driving. All of this impacts motorcycle riders, so why not target all this instead of young motorcyclists? Oh wait, where’s the too hard basket?

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