Review suggests increasing rider ages

SA considers increasing rider ages

A review of the South Australian Graduated Licensing System has suggested lifting the ages for learner riders from 16 to 18 and full-licensed riders from 20 to 21.5.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffiths says tougher licensing laws across the nation have put the motorcycle industry under “more pressure than we’ve ever had in the past”.

Rider agesSA considers increasing rider ages

However, he says it is difficult to argue against stricter licensing measures such as higher learner ages in the wake of increasing motorcycle rider fatality rates.

“As soon as you start going on about the idea of arguing to have less experienced or skilled riders on the road, you are on a hiding to nothing,” he says.

Rhys also rejects the idea of subsidised training courses for riders.

“The problem is most people use their motorcycle for recreation, so the argument would be why should one recreation get subsidies over another, such as gun shooting or anything else?” he asks.

“As an industry we have a difficult argument to progress.

“How does an industry body argue that they should be making it easer or subsidised.”

Rhys agrees that a recent rise in unlicensed rider crashes could be the result of tougher and more expensive licensing laws.

“People do take the risk and ride unlicensed, particularly in the bush, rather than going through the right system,” he says.

“Now in Victoria it costs over $1000 to get a licence.”

Costs are similar in other states and it takes more than a couple of years to reach full licence status. Queensland riders have to hold a car licence for a year before applying for a motorcycle licence.

Licensing review

SA considers increasing rider ages
Look who’s responsible for your safety!

The South Australian review of the Graduated Licensing System was undertaken by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR).

The 15 key recommendations included increasing rider age to reduce the crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old riders and reducing crashes involving motorcyclists holding a learner permit or R-Date licence class.

Under the recommendations, pre-learner and learner age would be lifted from 16 to 18 and unrestricted licence from 20 to 21 and six months.

Other recommendations include displaying correct plates, restricting pillions, mandatory carriage of licence, a night curfew, zero blood alcohol, a lower demerit point threshold for disqualification, no mobile phones and hi-vis vests for novices like in Victoria.

A total of 1553 participants responded to the consultation, while key road safety stakeholders, motorcycling industry representatives and other interested parties provided feedback through formal submissions.

The consultation outcomes report Protecting South Australia’s Novice Motorcyclists: Outcomes from Public Consultation outlines the feedback from the community and stakeholders.

10 Comments

  1. Combining complete novices with the ability to service a loan on a 47hp/180km/hr ‘lams’ bike, and the know it all arrogance of late teens may not be dampened by a couple of years practical application of road rules.

  2. European Example: P Moped & A1 Motorcycles from 16 years old, wish Australia could adopt 1st world standards?

    P Moped up to 50cc (max speed 50km/h) AM, p and Q
    A1 Motorbikes with engine size up to 125cc, power output up to 11kW and power/weight ratio up to 0.1kW/kg A1
    A Motorbikes up to 25kW power output and power weight ratio up to 0.16kW/kg; motorbikes with sidecar and power weight ratio up to 0.16kW/kg; any size motorbike, with or without a sidecar if you’ve completed the large motorbike direct access scheme A
    B1 3 or 4-wheeled vehicles up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if intended to carry goods B for 4-wheeled vehicles; A (restricted to trikes)
    B Vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM and up to 8 passenger seats with trailer up to 750kg; trailers over 750kg if combined weight of vehicle and trailer isn’t over 3,500kg B
    B auto Automatic category B vehicles – you can’t drive manual category B vehicles with this entitlement B (with restriction code 78)
    BE Category B vehicles with trailer when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg BE
    C1 Vehicles weighing 3,500 to 7,500kg MAM with trailers up to 750kg C1
    C1E Category C1 vehicles with trailers over 750kg; the combined weight of vehicle and trailer can’t be over 12,000kg C1E
    C Vehicles over 3,500kg with trailers up to 750kg C
    CE Vehicles over 3,500kg with trailer over 750kg CE
    D1 Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver, with trailer up to 750kg D1
    D1E Vehicles with up to 16 passenger seats plus driver with trailer over 750kg, if combined trailer and vehicle weight isn’t over 12,000kg D1E
    D Bus with more than 8 passenger seats, with trailer up to 750kg D
    DE Bus with more than 8 passenger seats, with trailer over 750kg DE

  3. I once heard an argument from an NZ road safety expert for lowering the age at least for car learners. Younger teens are more teachable and submissive in general than 18 year olds. If learners are taught younger they listen and take notice while they build experience so when the get to the 18 age group they have more experience.

  4. NOt sure there is any way to stop people from riding unlicensed. Surely there is a number of people driving unlicensed. They just don’t get killed because they are in a cage.
    I got my license in Qld as a “mature” (in age) rider. I think the system there works. You get to learn how the road “works” and how to deal with traffic and rules with the safety net of a car. Then when it comes time to learn to ride all you’re doing is learning the bike part.
    It’s a pain having to do another course to get an unrestricted but is anyone going to suggest more training is a bad thing?
    You will never make a license cheap enough to stop everyone from riding unlicensed. Some will think it’s a waste of their time spending any time learning. If it costs a grand for people with any degree of intelligence to get a license and keep them alive, that’s what it costs.
    You can’t protect some people from their own stupidity.

  5. I’ve believed for eons that EVERYONE should get a bike license prior to a car license. Extra training and testing a must. Better awareness in all aspects would be a bonus gained.

  6. I would like to see the age reduced to 15.5 years for moped license with an engine capacity of 125cc Motorcycle or Scooter like Europe, Asia and even Africa, then from 18 years a person can get a full motorcycle license for 250cc to 600cc and by 21 a unlimited engine capacity. I grew up in a country that you could get a moped license by 15 years and 6 months we used to go to school and back via moped use it to go to the shops or movies. It gave us a sense of freedom and maturity and by the time we turned 18 we were already seasoned riders gaining new road skills everyday and by the time we bought a car we were much more alert better drivers than those that only started with a car license at 18. Also the biggest problem I see in Victoria is complete lack of motor vehicle education, practical training in how to control a vehicle in adverse conditions, instead of the current system of “just follow the stupid ritual of seat belt, adjust mirror, drive at a snails pace on a predetermined route that is practised to perfection before every so called drivers test is a joke. Victoria might as well hand out licenses in cereal boxes for what their licensing system is worth and you don’t even need to be able to speak English.

    1. I agree, give 15 year olds permission to ride mopeds without a licence. But I would restrict them to 50cc maybe the type that have pedals. Then at 17 they can apply for a motorcycle learners permit for up to (say) 250cc bikes. At 18 they should be eligible for a full licence and have 3 years of road training behind them. Much more sensible in my view.
      I also believe that car drivers should be limited in engine size in a similar manner.

  7. Funny, but regardless of age I always thought (and still do) that like NSW still does (I am in VIC now) you should be able to get L’s for a bike BEFORE P’s for a car. That way (and it was when I was a kid….decades ago….. ) the first ‘unsupervised’ mode of transport anyone could get was a bike – so people got them, and THEN later the car. I think it would make better drivers (ie – learing to change gears on a motorbike, use the clutch etc makes you better prepared to drive (and understand) a car as opposed to getting dropped into an automatic Hyundai or Corolla with power steering that even a 8 year old could drive wihtout ever having riden or driven anything else, & then not paying attention to other road users, never having ‘had to’. SO maybe if they want to raise L’s for a motorbike to 18, they should up car ‘p”s to 19?? Get some experience early, and make sure those with car licenses are trained better – especially those with 4WD’s and larger ‘trucks’.

  8. More motorcycles on the road equal more accidents, if you raise the age all that will happen is you will have more unlicenced, unskilled, uninsured riders on the road.

    Education and garnering experience by riding is the answer not more draconian laws.

    1. More anything on the roads means more accidents.
      Hopefully new technology will bring innovations that prevent the vehicle starting unless it detects the driver’s current licence. Police could also be able to disable a vehicle remotely and lock the driver inside, instead of having to chase it.

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