Adelaide Hills
Riding in the Adelaide Hills

World first returned rider course

South Australia is believe to be the first place in the world to offer free courses for returned riders. They also don’t hassle riders over helmets or lane filtering.

Motorcycle advocate Nev Gray, who has been asked to be one of the first to undergo the one-day returned rider tests in February, says South Australia is “motorcycle heaven”.

South Australian returned riders
South Australian riders

“For about 11 years we have been pushing for returner riders to enter some sort of rider training as they are crashing way out of their zone,” he says.

Nev says he believes it is a world first because it is offered free and he hopes it will be mirrored by others states. The ACT runs a masters course for returned riders, but it is subsidised, not free (see comments below).

The one-day course will be conducted at the RideSafe Range and will include an on-road component.

“South Australia is motorcycle heaven,” Nev says, referring not only to the returned rider course, but also the strong relations between riders and the authorities.

“We have no problems here with helmet cams,” he says. “In fact, the government gave 12 of us three helmet cams each two years ago to do work for the Motor Accident Commission. We had to go out and get some interaction between riders and drivers.”

He says they also have no issue with South Australian riders being fined for wearing tinted visors as they are in Victoria. “You’d be foolish to wear one at night, but as someone who has worked in the car tinting industry, I can tell you that helmet visors are no darker than the permitted darkest car windscreen tint.”

Riding in the Barossa Valley
Riding in the Barossa Valley

He says lane filtering has been brought up as an item for discussion with the government, but it was deemed not to be a problem. “We just don’t have enough traffic congestion to warrant a special law, so the police just turn a blind eye to it and I have not heard of anyone being booked and that will continue.”

Nev says the South Australian motorcycling community has just been granted $6.5m by the State Government for motorcycle safety and infrastructure improvements such as lower rub rails on the barriers in the Adelaide Hills.

“Basically it’s for anything that motorcycle riders would like done,” he says. “It just came out of the blue and there it was.”

Nev is a member of the Motorcycle Reference Group (MRG) which started in 2003 as the Motorcycle Taskforce. It includes representatives of motorcycle goups, the RAA, government, transport department and the police. Nev represents the Ulysses Club and Motorcycle Riders Association of South Australia in the MRG.

He says the S out Australian motorcyclist fatality rate is down to about half the levels it was at its peak. He agrees with the recent heavy police patrols and covert speed camera operation in the Adelaide Hills after several crashes involving riders speeding and drink/riding.

“We’ve never been picked on; only when we do something wrong,” he says.

  1. Yeah well I am a returned rider and I did the second half of the current L test here in SA and was not that impressed. I see this course is at the Rider Safe training range too….. I actually ride on the road, not too often in car parks and I know its good to get practice with slow turns etc. but what about “real” riding out on the road ? I wish we would allow private training companies like Stay Upright etc. to come to SA and do courses here so we could have some competition for our training dollar. I would be happy to pay for a good quality course if it improved my skill level.

  2. All middle aged riders should be tested for mid-life crisisitis, a life threatening disease
    who’s symptoms include, marrying a 20 year old fillipino, encasing their obesity in lycra
    and training for the tour de france, buying a harley they cannot ride and joining hog or
    ullysses in the belief they are outlaw clubs, buying racing leathers and a sportsbike
    they cannot ride in the belief they are in training for philip island every time they take
    them out. Usually the only cure is death ,but by that time, everybody else has got the
    shits with them so much, it doesn’t really matter.

  3. This must be some parallel universe that you’re talking about. If the government and police have no issues with filtering, then they should create regulation for it, and riders groups should be seeking them to do so. Likewise tinted visors and cameras. If it’s no problem, create or alter regulation to deal with it. It’s not hard, and does not need to go through parliament. I know of riders fined for filtering in SA. To say it doesn’t happen is ridiculous. Clearly Nev Gray isn’t familiar with the whole picture. While the laws are not changed, Police will always be able to book a rider for filtering whenever the mood strikes them. As for being given a whole $6.5m to play with, that’s what politicians call “go away and shut up” money. It makes you feel like you’ve had a win, but in reality it doesn’t actually go very far in terms of road improvements. But it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, so you then become a public supporter of the Government. This is how governments deal with potentially annoying lobby groups who are easily fooled.

    1. That’s true about cops fining you when the mood strikes them.
      I’m glad we will soon have a lane-filtering rule in Qld. I’ve been fined for “failure to stay in my lane” ($75 no demerit points). About a month later, I followed a lane-filtering cop on a bike on the same stretch of road at roughly the same time as when I copped my offence!

    1. Tristan, sounds like you may have been one of the unlucky ones. What was the fine wording? Was it passing on the left, failure to stay in your lane and was it the only fine, or were there other infringements? Where and when did it happen?

  4. Whilst not free, the Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT (MRA ACT) has received grant funding from the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust to subsidise our Mature Age Skills Training for Experienced RiderS (MASTERS). These courses have been running since 2008 and are delivered by Stay Upright.

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