VicRoads is looking at compulsory and consistent motorcycle learner training.
Novice drivers are at their safest while driving on their L-plates. Novice motorcyclists are at their most vulnerable on their L-plates. That is what underpins imminent reforms to motorbike training and licensing in Victoria.
“The first three years for novice riders are an issue ... it doesn’t matter how old you are, those first three years are just as risky,” VicRoads senior policy officer Rodney Blythe says.
While most riders undertake some training in preparation for obtaining their licence, it is not a requirement and the training can vary.
“We are looking at compulsory and consistent learner training with a curriculum that will include on-road training and an on-road test,” he says. It is a two-stage reform.
The first stage, in October 2014, introduced compulsory high visibility vests for learner riders. The arguably more substantial reform will come with stage two, which he says is expected to begin late this year or early next year.
Unlike learner drivers, novice riders are on their own and, for the moment, do not need to show on-road ability.
“(As it now stands) a learner’s permit on a motorcycle is like getting your Ps in a car: with a learner’s permit you can ride by yourself,” says Michael Moran, the Victorian manager of Honda Australia Rider Training (HART).
A pilot program for the new system has been underway for several months at the Stay Upright training centre in Werribee, introducing instructors to the program. Rob Salvatore, Victorian Motorcycle Council chairman says the new system “will create a better L-plater”.
Ian Munro – Ian Munro is a freelance journalist with 37 years’ riding and 41 years’ driving experience.