Reform set to lift motorcycle age in South Australia

PROTECTION: New reform seeks to change the state's motorcycle Graduated Licensing Scheme which extends to country South Australia. Photo: Shutterstock
PROTECTION: New reform seeks to change the state's motorcycle Graduated Licensing Scheme which extends to country South Australia. Photo: Shutterstock

A crucial piece of legislation aimed at shielding the state's most vulnerable road users is expected to quickly progress in state parliament in an attempt to prevent further lives lost.

The Bill's urgency comes as South Australia, this year, recorded its fifth motorcyclist death at the weekend.

Primarily, the new reform seeks to change the motorcycle Graduated Licensing Scheme by raising the minimum age for a learner's permit by two years.

The Motor Vehicles (Motor Bike Driver Licensing) Amendment Bill 2020 - which passed the House of Assembly - is set to be debated in the Legislative Council.

Tragically, the death of a 16-year-old Barossa motorcyclist has left family, friends and the community mourn his life.

According to SA Police, just after 9pm on Saturday, February 13, officers with emergency services were called to Mengler Hill Road, about four kilometres south-east of Angaston, after reports that a motorcycle rider had left the road and hit a tree.

Sadly, the boy died at the scene.

In regional SA, changes include motorcyclists aged 16 to commute for education, work or sport only. Also, no riding between midnight and 5am if aged under 25-years.

Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia says the state's loss is five too many.

The SA Minister is among government supporters keen to see changes to prevent further loss of young lives on state roads.

We had to be sure the Bill struck the right balance and, most importantly, was going to make a difference for the young riders whose lives it will impact and save.

Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia

Yet Police and Road Safety Shadow Minister Lee Odenwalder said the latest reform follows two years of delays and blocking "almost identical" reforms introduced by Labor.

In 2017, following a tripling of motorcycle road deaths in the previous year, the then Labor government created the Motorcycle Reference Group to examine ways to enhance motorcycle safety and reduce road trauma.

The most substantial difference, he said, is that the new Bill increases the minimum learner age in most cases to 18 years.

"Minister Vincent Tarzia must urgently reconvene the Motorcycle Reference Group, to ensure all the experts are around the table regularly to ensure government is kept abreast of all aspects of motorcycle road safety," he said.

Meanwhile, the new reform is based on recommendations from an expert report provided by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR).

Furthermore, it is strengthened by input from key road safety stakeholders, motorcycle groups and industry representatives.

"We had to be sure the Bill struck the right balance and, most importantly, was going to make a difference for the young riders whose lives it will impact and save," Minister Tarzia added.

LEARNER'S PERMIT CHANGES

Minimum age:

  • Increase from 16 to 18.
  • 17 if holding a provisional car licence.
  • 16 if living in regional SA - for education, work or sport.

Restrictions:

  • Zero alcohol.
  • No passengers.
  • Prohibited from towing.
  • No riding between midnight and 5am if under 25.
  • Restricted to motorcycles with automatic transmission only if tested on one.

Period on learner's permit:

  • Minimum 12 months in all circumstances.

R-DATE LICENCE CLASSIFICATION

Minimum age:

  • Increase from 17 to 19.

Restrictions:

  • Zero alcohol.
  • Restricted to motorcycles with automatic transmission only if tested on one.

Period on an R-Date classification:

  • Two years.

R LICENCE CLASSIFICATION

Minimum age:

  • Increase from 18 to 21.

Restrictions:

  • Restricted to motorcycles with automatic transmission only if tested on one.
This story Motorbike licence age change urgency first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.