With summer upon us and long warm days for riding ahead, the NZ Transport Agency is reminding motorcyclists heading out on the roads these holidays of important changes to the driver licensing system introduced earlier this year.
The changes, introduced as part of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy to reduce deaths and injuries suffered by motorcyclists and keep new riders safer on our roads, include:
Changes to minimum licence time requirements - all novice motorcyclists, regardless of their age, are now subject to a minimum of 18 months in the restricted licence stage. Important aspects of this change to note are:
- Taking an approved advanced driving course (Street Talk or Defensive Driving Course) no longer reduces the minimum time a person is required to hold their restricted motorcycle licence.
- The minimum time a person aged 25 years of age or older is required to hold their restricted licence has increased from 6 months to 18 months.
The learner approved motorcycle scheme - the introduction of a power-to-weight restriction for learner and restricted motorcyclists. The scheme identifies a range of appropriate motorcycles for learner and restricted Class 6 licence holders, based on the overall performance capability of the motorcycle. Learner and restricted motorcycle riders now have a wider range of motorcycles to choose from but need to ensure the motorcycle they are riding meets the new criteria. To find out which motorcycles are approved, visit www.nzta.govt.nz/lams
Strengthening the basic handling skills test – the test has been changed to ensure new riders have a higher level of skills required to ride on our roads before they obtain their learner licence.
In addition to these initiatives, the NZ Transport Agency expects to introduce a competency based training and assessment course in late 2013 as an alternative path through the motorcycle licensing stages.