Stricter Testing for Tasmanian Learner Motorbike Riders

TASMANIAN learner motorcyclists will face much tougher testing to gain their licence from May this year in what the Government is calling a cultural change.

The changes feature a two-day pre-learner motorcycle training course, a check ride and pre-provisional test, and include 60 km of road practice and three times more supervised riding experience.

Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding said the current short course was inadequate.

“The notion you would send a motorcyclist into the traffic after an hour or two of riding around witches hats defies logic,” he said. It’s been in place in Tasmania for a long time. It’s become a cultural thing—that’s how you get your licence. Well, we’re fixing it and it starts today.”

Tasmanian motorcyclists made up 35 percent of serious crashes last year, while being 4 percent of the state’s motorists.

Getting a licence will be more expensive—it currently costs about $300—but exactly how much more is yet to be determined while providers work out the cost of running a more rigorous test.

Tasmania has followed Victoria’s lead in designing the new licence test which developed a model based on input from University of NSW researchers and motorcycle riding experts.

Tasmanian Motorcycle Council president Paul Bullock said his organisation had long been pushing for a much tougher licence test.

“It had to change because you can’t just put someone on two half-day courses with no on-road component of training and expect them to go out comfortably and ride with the traffic,” he said.

He said getting more on-road experience into young riders would reduce the likelihood of crashes.

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