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Call for lifetime rider training rewards

jake Dolan racer and learner rider at AMA training motorcycle insurance rewards

Riders should be encouraged to seek more rider training and gain rewards for improved skills, according to a position paper released by the Motorcycle Council of NSW.

One of their suggestions is a marketing campaign to returned riders to seek more training.

Steve says mature-aged returning riders with “dormant licences” are over-represented in the crash statistics.

“Perhaps we could get the Roads and Maritime Services to match dormant licences with new registrations and that is the trigger to send them marketing material about extra training,” he says.

“We don’t want to impose any more structure but we want to help save more lives.

“We have to come up with solutions and take them up with the government.”

The MCCNSW paper also suggests that riders going up in capacity should be targeted with marketing campaigns to seek more training.

“We don’t want it to be mandatory, but any time you are going up in category you should refresh your skills,” he says.

Learner rider Mitch Hamrey tackles the HART slalom course austroads competent rewards
Learn to ride … properly

Apart from marketing to riders, Steve says they also want to provide some “carrots” for up-skilling.

They would include rewards or incentives such as reduced licensing and registration fees as the rider moves through licence grades based on training levels achieved.

Steve says perhaps riders could achieve silver, gold and platinum licences as they move up in training.

With each new grade, they would received rewards such as bigger discounts on their rego and licence fees.

“You have to motivate people through their hip pocket,” he says.

The paper also calls for a range of affordable and accessible rider courses available across metropolitan and regional areas.

The MCCNSW position paper follows another last week calling for an increase in demerit points for motorists illegally using mobile phones.

MCCNSW treasurer Steve Pearce says their position papers are developed to provoke discussion with riders and authorities.

“We have to try new things,” he says.

  1. I would welcome incentives to take on extra training. I had a long break before returning to two wheels and spent time brushing up on my skills when I first got back on, but some structured training on return would have helped (and still would as it’s always good to keep fresh). Cheaper registration and/or insurance for a start would encourage people.

    My yearly rego down here in Tassie is around $600! More than a car!

    1. So it begs the question; if you acknowledge that structured training would have helped, why didn’t you just do it anyway? I’ve come across a lot of riders who haven’t ridden for many years then come back to riding when they no longer have to support children or have paid off their housing loans, who ride terribly but are too proud to do an advanced riding course. I would have thought the fact that re-training lowers the risk of crashing and enhances the joy of riding should be incentive enough.

  2. The whole concept seems to me as being another money making exercise by companies spruiking this type of training. At the end of the day do these people sit on the back of the bike telling you that you are doing this or that wrong? No, it is up to the rider to exercise his/her common sense & skills.
    Do not become complacent and ride to the conditions (which includes traffic) and you might survive to ride again.

  3. I came back to riding 4 years ago after a 30 year break. Done my job as a parent, paid the house off and now it’s “me” time. So when I first got back on I soon discovered that bikes had changed, a lot, so I treated myself as a raw beginner and took a long time to get out of my “safe” suburban streets before I ventured out.

    The point of my story is that I took responsibility for myself. I retrained myself. I read a lot, l watched a lot of videos, then tried out different things and I leaned a lot and I improved. I ride by a credo that says, “get skilled and don’t do anything stupid”. That does not guarantee I won’t get into trouble but it increases my chances of getting home in one piece.

    So would I have benefited from formal training? I’m sure I would have but when I looked at the cost and the fact that it was 150 kms away I decided no.

    Training has to be fit for purpose, it has to be quality and it has to be convenient and affordable, then I might be interested. Incentives like lowering rego costs would have to be too good to refuse before I would partake of it. The last thing I want is for mandatory requirements to be laid on me that would not benefit me in the least.

    I think it’s a case of leave me alone I’m fine.

  4. As a pre-requisite for years of not riding, the dealer could perhaps include a rider training course in the cost of the bike! My job as a Australia Post Motorcycle postie, we are enrolled every 2 years for a “Refresher Advanced Rider Training” course. This course is conducted by HART (Honda Advanced Rider Training) what information/skills are covered in the course is very much relative to what you need in riding your own bike, with the exception of delivering mail. I find the course also beneficial to driving the car, it places defensive thoughts in your mind.

    I must agree though these courses are held metro areas, and as such can be expensive.

    Perhaps an incentive to the course operators by the RMS/governing body, possibly subsidising the course fees.

  5. One of the problems with returning riders is they’re old! But they feel young especially when on a bike. You may think you still have it and remember having more of it than you actually did, I turn into a kid again when I first jump on my bike but all the aches and pains of advancing age soon comeback and the thought of continuing on to the sun set soon turns to “can I make it to the coffee shop for a pee and a cuppa?”
    I’m being funny here but I’m actually serious, without realising it fatigue sets in very quickly and even faster the older you are and rarely does anyone mention this fact! It may be politically correct to not mention the problems with advancing age but this kind of PC BS can kill! So here is a tip get fit for your ride.
    If you’re planning a trip make sure you do some light exercises and stretching for at least the week leading upto the day of the ride. You feel better enjoy the ride more and not feel like turning around and crawling into bed twenty minutes after leaving. Also as you get more and more fatigued you stop riding and start driving , driving a bike can get you killed.

  6. I think advance training is a great idea, especially if there are financial rewards like reduced rego.
    Training can be uber fun as well. I did three courses at the California Superbike School at Phillip Island and although it was fairly expensive, it was more fun than an island cruise.
    The Vic govt also had an online course called Ride Smart Online, which was informative and won me a $300 gift card. Years ago my sons and I also did a Yamaha dirt bike course when it was in this area.
    I also agree that drivers using mobile phones are our biggest threat and was glad to see a poster at Vicroads in Wangaratta that said there was an over $800 fine and 4 demerit points for phone users. This is great for the first offence. Maybe add more and confiscate the phone for a second offence?

  7. We expect Doctors, Nurses, Accountants and numerous other professional services we use to be informed of and using the latest practices and procedures when we go to them for whatever reason. All these and others have to do “Professional Development” to be able to keep practicing in their respective field.
    Most of us get a “Black Licence” in our late teens or early 20s and never get tested again, less than 20 years later we are showing our kids how to drive after we have developed a multitude of bad habits and not kept up with rule changes. We have cars & bikes that are more powerful and have so many “Safety Devices” than the vehicles of 20 years ago.
    Most drivers don’t seem to know how their car will handle under an emergency situation that many take their foot off the brake when they feel the car “shudder” (which is the ABS cutting in and out) and run into the post, vehicle as they now can’t steer around the thing they were breaking to avoid.
    I am a long time campaigner for “ON GOING TRAINING FOR EACH AND EVERY DRIVER”. That training should be for each class of licence held and should be a knowledge test and a vehicle handling test at intervals no longer than EVERY FIVE YEARS.
    There should be two or three attempts at passing both tests on the same day. If you fail either test on your third try you have the option of going to “L Plates” or handing in your licence.
    When I have suggested this to some of my peers, I get comments like “I’d have no chance of passing a knowledge test if I had to do one today. As far as I know none of those have gone online to brush up on their knowledge.
    I was talking to my son and his partner last weekend and something came up about brakes & emergency braking. I asked MS. SM if she had ever been driving along and there are no vehicles around then hit the brakes as if in an emergency situation and brought the car to a standstill. Her answer was “Yes, my Dad made me do it heaps of time & I’ve done it a few times when I’m on my own. I was a little impressed, and glad she had the sense to test the car once in a while.

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