Victoria is set to introduce a new Graduated Licensing System (GLS) for motorcycle riders in the early stages of gaining their licence.
Beginning in October, the state government says new riders will now experience “improved training, education and testing”, in a bid to reduce injuries and fatalities among motorcycle commuters.
Victoria’s Minister for Roads, Terry Mulder, said the system will be phased-in over time, and aims to replicate the success of the GLS for drivers.
“The motorcycle GLS is being introduced in two stages over the next 18 months to help make new riders safer, following extensive consultation with rider groups and road safety experts,” Mr Mulder said.
“We’ve had great results with the GLS reducing road trauma among new car drivers and we want to extend these safety outcomes to motorcyclists as well. The system will gradually remove restrictions to manage their risk as they gain the experience for them to become safer road users.”
As part of the first stage, riders must ride a learner-approved motorcycle with their headlight on at all times, and have a zero blood-alcohol content. They are prohibited from using a mobile phone, carrying a pillion passenger or towing for a period of three years (up from one year).
In addition to these restrictions, holders of a learner’s permit will also be required to wear a high-visibility vest or jacket.
Furthermore, riders who complete either learner of provisional testing on ‘automatic’ motorcycles (mostly scooters) will only be permitted to ride similar bikes during the restricted licence phase.
Riders with an automatic restriction who wish to upgrade to a bike with a manual gearbox will need to wait until the restricted licence period ends, or resit the test on a manual-equipped bike.
The days of weaving among some traffic cones in a controlled environment before being let loose on the road with L-plates are about to end. Phase Two will see the introduction of on-road testing and assessment for learner riders in addition to current training methods, beginning in late 2015.