MOTORING

Motorcycling safety initiatives in force from October

Tuesday 11 September 2012, 9:28PM
By New Zealand Transport Agency
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Changes to the graduated motorcycle licensing system, to ensure novice motorcyclists are better prepared to drive safely on the road, will come into force over the next couple of months, says Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

“Motorcyclists are 20 times more at risk of suffering death or serious injury than car drivers over the same distance travelled, and increasing and improving motorcycle safety is a priority area in the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy.”

Effective from 1 October are the following:

- Introducing a power-to-weight restriction for novice motorcycle riders. This replaces the current cc limit for novices, which is no longer adequate for the range of high-powered, but low cc, motorcycles on the market.

- Requiring all motorcyclists, regardless of age, to be subject to the same minimum time requirements at the restricted licence stage. Currently, riders aged over 25 have a shorter time requirement on the restricted licence before they can progress to a full licence.

- Removing the option for motorcyclists to complete an approved driving course (such as Defensive Driving) to reduce their time on a restricted motorcycle licence. These courses are generally car driver focused.

And effective from 1 November:

- Strengthening the basic handling skills test to ensure riders have a higher level of basic skills required to ride on the road than the current test provides.

In addition, NZTA expects to introduce a new competency-based training and assessment option for novice motorcyclists in late 2013, as an alternative path through the licensing stages.

“In the past ten years 370 motorcyclists have been killed and more than 10,000 have been injured on New Zealand roads, and annual motorcycle casualties have increased by 58 per cent. These measures, in addition to those introduced last year, will help motorcyclists begin their riding careers safely.”

Further information about changes to motorcycle licensing can be found here: http://nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/motorcycles/changes.html