Victorians keen to hit the road on a motorcycle or scooter may soon find the task more challenging, with the Brumby Labor Government this week proposing a tougher licensing system to help reduce the over-representation of motorcyclist's in the state's road toll.
Roads Minister Tim Pallas today announced the release of a public discussion paper on options for a new approach to motorcycle licensing, with a view to adopting a Graduated Licensing System similar to that used for regular drivers.
“The Graduated licensing for motorcyclists discussion paper looks at key concerns in areas including the number and duration of licence phases, testing, training and skill development, restrictions and sanctions," Mr Pallas said..
“It is important we have this discussion with motorcyclists and the wider community about the best ways to improve safety and reduce the risks for riders.”
Mr Pallas said that while the growth in motorcycle registrations had shown that powered two-wheelers have become a mainstream means of transport rather than purely the domain of enthusiasts, the number of motorcyclists killed on the state's roads is simply too high.
Although motorcycles account for less than four per cent of all vehicles registered, motorcyclists comprise 14 per cent of all fatalities and serious injuries.
“Motorcyclists are 38 times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than car drivers and passengers. Tragically, in 2010 we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of riders killed on our roads with 34 deaths – 12 more than the same time last year.”
Victoria's road toll stands at 194 for the year.
Mr Pallas said the Graduated licensing for motorcyclists paper presented options for consideration and posed questions for motorcyclists, stakeholders and the public to consider.
Some of the options for consideration in the discussion paper include:
- The introduction of a more comprehensive and rigorous assessment of practical skills to obtain a motorcycle licence;
- A requirement for learner riders to obtain a minimum number of hours of supervised on-road riding experience, with options of 25, 50 or 120 hours; and
- An automatic transmission restriction for riders who pass the test on an automatic motorcycle (usually a scooter), meaning those with an auto licence would not be allowed to ride a manual/geared motorcycle until they demonstrate the necessary capabilities.
Public information forums will be held across Victoria during September and October. Details about the forums and the Graduated licensing for motorcyclists discussion paper can be found at www.arrivealive.vic.gov.au/motorcyclegls