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A Discussion Paper on Elements of Graduated Licensing Systems for Motorcycle Riders

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Publication no: AP-R469-14 Pages: 61
Published: 05 November 2014

This report summarises an international review of effective motorcycle rider licensing systems and interventions. It details elements of best practice for motorcycle graduated licensing based on novice motorcycle risk patterns and practice from Australia and comparable overseas jurisdictions.

Motorcycle riders are disproportionately represented in road trauma statistics and improving their safety is a priority for road safety strategies in Australia, New Zealand and overseas. In response, a consistent approach to graduated motorcycle rider licensing is being considered by Australasian licensing agencies.

The report presents a desktop analysis of the state of knowledge and is informed by the author’s own expertise and opinion. It does not purport to represent the position of Austroads or its member organisations, and has not been subject to the usual revision process for Austroads reports. Nevertheless, Australian and New Zealand transport agencies will use this unrevised report as well as other research to inform further policy and program development.

This report represents one of the last pieces of research from one of Australia’s most eminent road safety experts, Dr Ron Christie. Over a career of more than 20 years, Dr Christie made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of road safety knowledge in Australia.

Table of Contents

A Discussion Paper on Elements of Graduated Licensing Systems for Motorcycle Riders
  • Background and Objectives
  • Project Scope
  • Summary of Main Project Findings
  • Risks Faced by Motorcycle Riders
  • Best Practice for Novice Rider Licensing
  • Elements of Motorcycle Rider GLS
  • Other Issues Discussed in the Report
1. Introduction
  • 1.1 Background and Objectives
  • 1.2 Project Scope
  • 1.3 Report Outcomes
2. Best Practice, Driver/Rider Licensing and GLS
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 What is Best Practice?
  • 2.3 Definition of a Motorcycle Licensing System
  • 2.4 The Purposes and Roles of Driver/Rider Licensing
  • 2.5 Graduated Licensing Systems: Concept, History and Effectiveness
  • 2.6 Concluding Comments
3. Patterns of Motorcycle Risk, Registration, Licences and Crashes in Australia and Overseas – A Brief Overview
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 General Patterns of Risk for Motorcycle Riders in Australia and Overseas
  • 3.3 Patterns of Motorcycle Registration, Licensing and Risk
  • 3.3.1 Increasing Motorcycle Licences on Issue
  • 3.3.2 Increasing Motorcycle Sales and Registrations
  • 3.3.3 Impact on Motorcycle Fatalities and Serious Injuries
  • 3.4 Other Motorcycle Risk Factors Identified in the Literature
  • 3.4.1 Lack of Protection from Injury
  • 3.4.2 Higher Levels of Speed Related Fatalities among Riders
  • 3.4.3 Higher Levels of Risk Taking Behaviour among Riders
  • 3.4.4 Vehicle Factors that Increase Risk
  • 3.4.5 Road Environment Factors
  • 3.4.6 Conspicuity Factors
  • 3.4.7 Rider Age and Experience Factors
  • 3.4.8 Unlicensed Riding Behaviour
  • 3.4.9 Drink and Drug Riding Behaviour
  • 3.4.10 Increasing Numbers of Scooter Riders
  • 3.5 Concluding Comments
4. Best/Better Practice in Motorcycle Rider Licensing
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Existing Best/Better Practice Models for Motorcycle Licensing and GLS
  • 4.2.1 Motorcycle Licensing Model for the US
  • 4.2.2 Canadian Motorcycle GLS Model
  • 4.2.3 Discussion Papers on Motorcycle GLS Published by Australian Jurisdictions
  • 4.2.4 EU Motorcycle Licensing Model
  • 4.3 Best/Better Practice Motorcycle Licensing GLS
  • 4.4 Rationale for Elements of Best/Better Practice Motorcycle Rider GLS
  • 4.4.1 Three Stage Hierarchical Approach
  • 4.4.2 Requirement for 12 Months Car Licence Tenure
  • 4.4.3 Minimum Tenure Periods for Learner and Intermediate Levels
  • 4.4.4 Clean Record for Graduation to Next GLS Level
  • 4.4.5 Restrictions/Conditions Applicable to Novice Riders
  • 4.4.6 Moped Requirements
  • 4.4.7 Novice Rider Licence Testing and Training Requirements
  • 4.5 Elements that could be Optional to a Motorcycle Rider GLS
  • 4.5.1 Introduction of Two-Phase Intermediate Stage
  • 4.6 Elements that Could Potentially be Added to a Motorcycle Rider GLS Following Further Research and Development
  • 4.6.1 Development and Introduction of Exit Testing for Novice Riders
  • 4.6.2 Development of a Screen-based Hazard Perception Test (HPT) for Novice Riders
  • 4.6.3 Potential Use of Risk Based Screening Tests and Interventions for Novice Riders
  • 4.7 Elements that Should be Excluded from a Motorcycle Rider GLS at Present Due to the Lack of Evidence of Effectiveness
  • 4.7.1 On-Road Supervision of Learner Riders
  • 4.7.2 On-Road Coaching or Mentoring of Novice Riders
  • 4.7.3 Mandatory Rider Training
  • 4.7.4 Engine Capacity Restrictions and Power-to Weight Restrictions
  • 4.7.5 Speed Differentials for Novice Riders
  • 4.8 Concluding Comments
5. Discussion of Other Issues Including those Raised in the Austroads Project Brief
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Re-testing of Riders After Certain Periods of Holding a Licence
  • 5.3 Re-testing Riders Who Relocate from Overseas or Interstate
  • 5.4 Introduction of a Specific Licence for Motorcycle Riders
  • 5.5 Options to Identify and Improve Road Safety for Returning Riders
  • 5.5.1 Definition of Returning Rider
  • 5.5.2 Crash Risk of Returning Riders
  • 5.5.3 Identification of Returning Riders
  • 5.5.4 Improving the Road Safety of Returning Riders
  • 5.5.5 Specific Sanctions for Speed, Alcohol or Other Offences Committed by Novice Riders
  • 5.5.6 Need to Manage Unlicensed Riding
  • 5.6 Concluding Comments
6. Conclusions
Appendix A Summary of NHTSA/AAMVA Motorcycle GLS
Appendix B Summary of EU Motorcycle Licensing System

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