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Driver licence before riding plan rejected

SA considers increasing rider ages rejected

Public support for learner riders to first have L-plate car driving experience for one year has been rejected by South Australian riding group Ride to Review.

The plan is part of a licensing review which also recommends lifting the ages for learner riders from 16 to 18 and full-licensed riders from 20 to 21.5.

Tim Kelly of Ride to Review has rejected an ABC Adelaide Facebook poll which found 72% public support for the plan.Licensing plan rejected

He says “no specific evaluation of the measure has yet been undertaken”.

“RTR believe improved rider education and training are the key areas to be development in order to produce safer riders,” he says.

Licensing laws

The only other state with similar licensing laws is Queensland where learner riders must have held a provisional, P1, P2 or open car licence for a year since 2007. South Australia’s suggestion is that riders must only have a learner plate for a year.

It runs contrary to practices in countries such as Italy where 15-year-olds can first ride a two-wheeler up to 50cc before getting a car or motorcycle licence.

Proponents say it gives young motorists more road awareness and makes them more aware of motorcyclists on the road when they get old enough to obtain a licence.

On the other hand, modern cars are so safe with crash cells, stability control and various driver aids and warnings that they may give young drivers a false sense of invincibility.

It may also lead drivers to ignore vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists who pose no danger to them, leading to SMIDSY crashes.

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”.

He says the tougher licensing laws have dramatically increased the price of obtaining a motorcycle licence and may have led to an increase in unlicensed riding.

Fatal statisticsLicensing plan rejected

National statistics from 1995 to 2019 show a steady decrease in fatalities among under 30-year-old riders from 562 in the five-year period from 1995 to ’99 to 312 from 2015 to ’19.

Over the past five years, under 30s have not had the largest number of fatalities, being overtaken for the first time by over 50s with 323 deaths.

This could be the result of tougher licensing laws.

However, it could also be due to the fact that the number of young riders getting licenses has declined while the number of returned riders has increased.

The statistical trends are similar in all states including Queensland and South Australia where under-30s fatalities have halved since 1995.

Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland President Chris Mearns says the efficacy of the car licence requirement is “very questionable”.

He doubts it has any effect on serious crash rates “given that the main age groups involved in these incidents are not those that are effected by the requirement” as shown in the above statistics.

“Add to this that the average age of a newly licensed rider is in their 30s with these already holding an open car licence hence not being effected by the requirement and the effectiveness is very questionable,” he says.

Licence review

SA considers increasing rider ages rejected
RTR has rejected plans to require car L-plates before getting a bike licence

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 as 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.

  1. It May be fatalistic but no matter what you do a certain number of people will die.
    Be it slipping on a proverbial banana peel or forgetting to buckle up in the futon and falling out of bed people will always find a way to kill them selves and believe it or not the more you try to protect people from them selves the more likely they are to find some ridiculous way to die.
    All these measures are garrenteed to do is move the statistics around without saving any lives, actually more people are likely to die because they are falling to properly educated young people before they even consider applying for a learners permit.

    1. I’m with JC and phil. The reverse should be the law… All drivers should first obtain a motorcycle license (barring those with disabilities, obviously). It would certainly cut down on the SMIDSY ‘accidents’.

  2. Personally I had a motorcycle licence before I had a car licence and I think it made me a better rider/driver because I have always been aware that car drivers (and mother’s driving their little darlings to school, in particular) were the one’s most likely to kill me.
    So is the idea of stopping possible motorcyclists from getting a bike licence until they have had a car licence for 12 months going to work? In my opinion no, all it will do is stop young people from accessing cheaper transport & they will instead buy older bombs which are really death traps in accidents, especially when you consider the lack of yearly roadworthy certificates in SA.

    1. why not make the rule the other way round… you can’t get a car license until you’ve had a full bike license for at least a year … would help with bike sales, would help with congestion, would help drivers be way more aware and might just get councils to pay a bit more attention to making sure the roads are actually safe for motorbikes (not just fix the potholes when cars start falling into them!)

  3. So no mention of greater training, longer provisional periods, logbooks or other measures aimed at adding experience. Not politically palatable?

  4. So again the statistics are questionable.
    What are the ages of the people pushing for later licensing? I imagine they are over 40. So how about asking the 15 and 16 year olds what they want?
    If 15 year olds manage to ride mopeds in Europe and elsewhere, what makes Australia so special that the powers that be ignore foreign statistics?
    I really like the idea of having people ride bikes before they can drive cars, it worked for me and a lot of others I know.

  5. Isn’t it great that basically any set of figures can be so rubbery that they can be contorted to Whatever direction they are forced to … The Powers to be, just aren’t equipped with enough ‘BRAIN’ capability to REALISE that DRIVER & RIDER EDUCATION & AWARENESS IS NOT UP TO PAR in Australia ….

    And the Stupidity of it ALL is that Each and Every STATE can and DOES make their OWN RULES, it is little wonder that Interstate Drivers & Riders have such difficulty in KNOWING the RULES – THERE REALLY DOES NEED TO BE A NATIONAL LICENSING, RULES & LAWS Governing SUCH an IMPORTANT PART OF LIFE – TRANSPORT.

    There SHOULD BE A STABLE PLATFORM that Everyone HAS to Be Directed and Governed by, regardless where they live in Australia. IT Would be possibly that there would be MORE Lives Saved and Less Accidents – and a LOT MORE FOCUS on DRIVER DISTRACTIONS INSIDE their TIN CANS …. NO MOBILE PHONES Should Work, UNLESS THE ENGINE IS NOT RUNNING. And the SAME Goes for OTHER Devices that DISTRACT DRIVERS from their Surrounds OUTSIDE their CAN … Like Pedestrians, Cyclists, Motorcyclists, TIN CAN Drivers and TRUCK Drivers …

    I WOULD like to See GOVERNMENT AND Private Surveys and Statistics gathered for ANY & Every Reported ACCIDENT where a Driver has been Distracted by SOMETHING INSIDE THEIR TIN CAN …

    Inattentiveness IS a MAJOR FACTOR that CAUSES SO MANY COLLISIONS on the Roads of Australia …
    Just go for a drive or ride through the suburbs and highways – IT is ALL Around … 99% of it is CAR DRIVERS that are at fault – But because he/she had a difficult childhood or were a bed wetter or some other bizarre bull dung that can be though of and USED as an EXCUSE for their LACK of DRIVING SKILLS & Attentiveness behind the wheel … IT is Inexcusable Behavior and sometimes downright Criminal as to their behavior behind the wheel of a Tonne or more metal on wheels …


  6. Personally, i had my car/truck license for 26 years before i started riding motorcycles so i am a strong believer that one should have his car license for some years before a motorcycle license. i found it very helpful knowing how a car driver thinks and knowing how long it takes for a car to move out or change direction, etc.
    I also agree with putting people on the roads as early as we can but there is always that immature thinking that gets in the way.
    Don’t get me wrong if you’re going to be an idiot and want to push the boundaries once you get a license to ride or drive you’re going to do it anyway but at least with four wheels it’s safer than on two.

    This is my personal opinion having experienced it myself and i realise i am going to get plenty of negative feedback but i’d rather see my son or daughter on a motorcycle once they have a full car license instead of just coming out of high school with a wild sense of freedom, adventure and most importantly the freedom to drink alcohol.

  7. Should be looking st the same training requirements for car license as bike license.
    Current log book system is a farce just having older incompetent drivers passing their bad habits into learners

  8. Franky,
    “Four wheels is safer than two.”
    This is a very dangerous and misleading statement.
    Probably completely false as well.
    Particularly if you think about who it is safer for. A car is not safer for the motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian that they hit, but a bad car driver is safe from all of them.
    Immature thinking can happen at any age, but if it happens at 15 years old on a moped, it most likely won’t hurt anyone else.

    1. And 18 wheels are bettter then 4.
      It is all about attitude or lack of that matters.
      And frankly a fair chunk of road users lack such and should never been given a licence.
      Further anther chunk just lack the skilset because the training is grossly inadequate. But those facts are just too tough a pill to swallow.

  9. Perhaps the underlying agenda has nothing to do with road safety, as in Qld when the VLAD laws were introduced it is all about ridding society of the motorcycling menace?

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