Radical licensing proposals in South Australia

'No motorbike until you have driven a car' among proposals suggested to reduce motorcycle fatalities

THE government of South Australia has published a set of radical new proposals aimed at reducing the number of motorcycle fatalities in the state.

174 motorcyclists have been killed and a further 1649 seriously injured in the state over the past 10 years. Last year 21 motorcyclists were killed on South Australia's roads, accounting for 1 in 5 road deaths. 2011's motorcycle death toll increased by 23% over the ten year average.

In response, Road Safety Minister Jennifer Rankine has released six proposals through the government of South Australia's road safety initiative 'Towards Zero Together' (the website can be found here). The six proposed changes are as follows:

1) Requirement that a car licence to be held for at least 12 months before being eligible to apply for a motorcycle learner's permit

2) A compulsory six month period between the Basic and Advanced Rider Safe training course

3) Requiring all licence holders endorsed with restricted R-Date licence (for motorbike learners and riders with less than 12 months experience) to have zero blood alcohol concentration while riding

4) Introducing specific licensing and training requirements for riders of mopeds (motorcycles with an engine capacity under 50 millilitres)

5) Riders with an R-Date licence endorsement (including riders of mopeds) to be banned from carrying a pillion passenger

6) Exploring options for a motorcycle safety fund dedicated to motorcycle safety initiatives to address the "high and disproportionate" risks

In 2009, the UK government introduced Multi-Purpose Test Centres (MPTC) following European legislation. The bungled implementation and tougher test caused a huge drop-off in the number of new test passes.

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