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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Motorcycle safety initiatives

This page provides a summary of motorcycle safety initiatives that have been introduced to help improve the safety of motorcycle riders and other road users.

Current initiatives 

From 1 October 2016, there are a number of changes to Queensland’s motorcycle licensing system. These changes aim to improve motorcycle rider safety by helping to ensure testing and licensing requirements adequately prepare novice riders and encourage skill development.

The changes include:

  • Completing a practical pre-learner course before obtaining a motorcycle learner licence. 
  • Requiring learner riders to hold their motorcycle learner licence for at least 3 months before progressing to an RE licence.
  • Extending the minimum time to hold an RE licence before progressing to an R licence from 1 to 2 years.
  • Removing the restriction prohibiting R licence holders from carrying passengers for the first year of holding an R licence.
  • Increasing standardisation in the Q-Ride courses and incorporating a stronger emphasis on behaviour and higher order skills.

The changes were developed considering feedback provided by Queenslanders through the Motorcycle licensing discussion paper and online survey released on the Get involved website on 27 July 2015. 

The Results of consultation: Motorcycle licensing discussion paper summarises the results of the community consultation.

Previous initiatives

Parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle licensing in Queensland

In 2012, the Queensland Government conducted a parliamentary inquiry into the motorcycle licensing process and its alignment with best practice.

Based on the significant body of research into motorcycle safety conducted by CARRS-Q and the findings of the inquiry, the government considered a package of reforms.

On 1 January 2014 a number of recommendations were introduced. These include:

Enhanced motorcycle learner knowledge test

On 1 January 2014, the motorcycle learner knowledge test was enhanced both in terms of the number of questions an applicant must answer and the scope of content covered in the test. The enhanced knowledge test contains 30 questions based on a range of topics such as the road rules, risk management and hazard perception.

You can prepare for the written test before taking the test.

Formalise Q-Ride as the primary motorcycle training and assessment method

As of 1 January 2014, all motorcycle licence applicants (class RE and class R) who live within a 100km radius of a Q-Ride Registered Service Provider are required to undertake a Q-Ride competency based training and assessment course, and obtain a competency declaration.

Only individuals who live outside a 100km radius of a Q-Ride training area will have the option of completing a Q-SAFE practical riding test. This includes applicants who have a physical incapacity and international licence holders who are required to complete a practical riding test.

Revisions to the Queensland Motorcycle Rider’s Guide

The Queensland Motorcycle Rider’s Guide has been updated to include new sections on:

  • Safe riding: A truly skilful rider rides ‘low risk’. The guide provides tips on ways to improve your observation skills, speed management, concentration, road positioning, decision making and hazard perception.
  • Returning to ride: If you are considering getting back on your motorcycle after a break, the guide provides advice on how to refresh your riding skills, rebuild your confidence and update your knowledge of the road rules. A lot may have changed since you last rode a motorcycle.

The Queensland Motorcycle Safety Strategy

The Queensland Motorcycle Safety Strategy expired in 2012. Over the 3 year duration of the strategy a number of initiatives to improve rider safety were implemented:

  • The Learner Approved Motorcycle (LAM) scheme
  • The requirement for provisional motorcycle licence holders to display a P-plate
  • Learner riders no longer able to carry any pillion passengers
  • Zero blood/breath alcohol concentration (0.00 BAC) for novice riders

For more information on motorcycle rider restrictions see the Queensland Motorcycle Rider’s Guide

CARRS-Q research report into motorcycle safety

The Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) located at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) carried out a 3-year research report into motorcycle safety which was completed in 2012. This research was funded by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC). A focus on increased training and assessment is just one of the recommendations from the research report.

The findings from the CARRS-Q report were taken into consideration by the Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee as part of the parliamentary inquiry into motorcycle licensing.

Last updated 21 July 2017