Strengthened skills test to improve motorcycling safety
An improved and strengthened motorcycle basic handling skills test for motorcycle riders will come into force from tomorrow (1 November).
NZ Transport Agency Principal Advisor Driver Testing and Training Standards Jim Furneaux says the changes to the basic handling skills test aim to ensure that novice motorcyclists have a higher level of basic skills so that they are better prepared to ride safely once they obtain their learner licence.
This follows on from a suite of changes to the graduated motorcycle licensing system introduced earlier this month, including:
- The introduction of the learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS), a power-to-weight restriction for novice motorcycle riders. This replaces the old cc limit for novices, which is no longer adequate for the range of high-powered, but low cc, motorcycles on the market.
- The requirement for all motorcyclists, regardless of age, to be subject to the same minimum time requirements at the restricted licence stage. In the past, riders aged over 25 have had a shorter time requirement on the restricted licence before they could progress to a full licence.
- The removal of the option for motorcyclists to complete an approved driving course (such as Defensive Driving) to reduce their time on a restricted motorcycle licence.
In addition, the 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.
'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.'
'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. The strengthening of this test, in addition to the initiatives introduced in October and in 2011, will help motorcyclists begin their riding careers safely.'
Further information about changes to the basic handling skills test can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/motorcycles/skills-test.html.