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should car "L" platers learn bike roadcraft?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by ward_4e, May 3, 2006.

  1. I read a thread on a 70yr old cutting off a rider and it got me thinking, its too late to educate him. What about the leaner crowd? I'm not saying stick everyone on a bike as part of their course, although in therory it may just be a great idea. Educate them on the theory part of the course. Give them a greater understanding of both sides of the metal skin? The theory involved in our L's and advanced courses are great for roadcraft just as a refference.

    Make the practical component and extra fee if they want a dual "L" licence but make the theory roadcraft component of the motorcycle leaners manditory. The drivers roadcraft is just way way to basic and we are seeing the mistakes all the damn time. How many of us get cut off? looked at and then t-boned? or lost in the "oh I didn't see you" ignorant driver excuse?

    Make them aware as riders on the road and we will get better drivers. Give them a greater understanding of how vunerable people are on bikes are, and in the off chance we may just get a few more riders! or a lot less crunched friends.

    Sound good?
  2. It would be a most excellent idea, hopefully it would finally educate some drivers about what it actually is like to ride from a rider's perspective.

    But unfortunately it simply will not happen. And it would be debateable about how much of it would actually sink in.

    I'm sorry but I doubt the average 16 year old that is getting behind the wheel of a car would be thinking "bike...bike...bike" no matter how much education on the subject they receive.

    Strapping them on a bike and throwing them out in traffic is the only way to educate them :p.
  3. Well, for a start I don't think that the right training & testing is given to anybody for a car licence at least here in w.a.

    Drivers here are trained on how to past the drivers test. If they actually learn how to drive is more coincidence rather than intent.
    Also, there are two ways people drive/ride on the roads. The legal, get your licence as a learner way, and the way that everybody actually drives/rides. Once you get your "P" plates, then your on your own to then learn how to actually drive like everybody else.

    So in a nutshell, I think it is a waste of time trying to teach learners some two wheel road craft. Nice idea, but would be useless untill they actually start training drivers properly.
  4. I know that getting my bike licence has made me a better driver. I'm a lot more aware.

    It's a great idea that all Learner car drivers go through motorcycle awareness education, but not sure if it will ever happen.
  5. Yes definitely!
  6. Perhaps an idea could be that there could be an optional additional roadcraft segment to a learners test (cars or bikes) which would cost a little extra time and money but perhaps be rewarded with a reduced minimum time to remain on L's? Or in otherwords, if you dont do the extra course you must remain on L's (or P's) longer.
  7. Yes. I've said it before, I'll say it again: getting a licence should be a process of several steps, the first of which should be getting a bike license. After they ride for a year and manage not to kill themselves, only then could they progress to a full car licence.

    Failing that, I agree - the learning course should be a lot more comprehensive and designed to teach people how to drive, not how to pass the test. In this respect there are a lot of examples Australia could learn from - for example, Germany. From what I heard, their learners' course was a long and comprehensive process, but look at the results: their fabled low fatality rate on speed-unrestricted autobahns was due as much to excellent training as it was to excellent state of the roads (as can be seen from the fact that their statistics got much worse after the unification, when all the east germans were set lose upon autobahns in their Trabis).
  8. The test in WA just teaches you how to park the car, its stupid. They should be testing on things like merging, staying in the left lane (out of my way :) ) and crossing intersections and the like, you know stuff you do when you drive.
    Also they should try taking points of people who cant drive, not those who can drive faster. If you t-bone someone and its your fault, you loose 6 points of your licence, slide into the back of someone, 3 points. Just because they are accidents, doesnt mean you couldnt have avoided them, and thats what driving is about.
    Make them drive about in a car with no mirrors so they have to actually check what is around them properly, easier then throwing them on a bike, but might get them in the habit of looking where we normally are.
  9. It will never happen...

    Why not??

    Well vast majority of Australians will never ride a motorcycle in their lives but new licence holders could be forced to learn to ride a bike.
    Imagine the legal action that would result from the injuries from someone who crashes while doing their forced bike stuff.

    Maybe they should force riders to get car licences before their bike licences so they understand cars better :p

    Or even a B Double Semi licence so they understand trucks better before riding with them :LOL:
  10. This doesn't seem to me silly at all, but is not neccessary: I read somewhere that more than 90% of bike riders already hold car licences. Which always makes me wonder about that 'cager bashing' that goes on on bike forums, because who are you bashing, people? *We* are the cagers.
  11. I think there's more to it than just getting them to sit the motorcycle theory exam. Surely any driver incapable of seeing a motorcycle would be as equally likely not to see a cyclist/pedestrian so there should just be more emphasis on trying to make sure drivers actually pay attention to what it is they're doing. If they made the test more difficult though more people would miss out on their "right" :roll: to have a drivers licence - which would cost votes at the next election (therefore highly unlikely that it would happen). Indeed rather than aggrevate a large number of new voters they'd be more likely to just ban motorcycles, since that would after all only affect a minority.
  12. When I lived in Germany I got a 5% discount on my car insurance because I had a bike licence. It seems that insurance statistics must (at least in Germany) indicate that drivers with bike licences are a lower risk. I suspect that it may be the increased situational awareness required to survive on a bike that makes the difference. Unfortunately I doubt that theory alone, or even theory plus training, will help much without actual riding experience.

    Edit (typo)
  13. How unfortunatly true.

    I saw someone when i was last at the licensing centre fail there learners theory, meaning they couldnt be bothered remembering road rules. And they can just try again until they pass through coincendence because its multiple choice. I think you should have to wait 6 months to try again so they have to really read up on the road rules and learn them properly, the ammount of arguments ive had with people about things like when to indicate on a roundabout, we should be drumming into the kids heads when they are young.
  14. Can't see the point, to be honest. Almost all drivers learn "pedestrian-craft" but it doesn't stop them from running down pedestrians. Many of them also learned "bicycle craft" (I'll bet the 70yo in the OP's post did) but plenty of cyclists still get skittled.

    I'd rather that driving instructors concentrated on lookout, lookout and lookout. The aviation industry has developed a huge body of research on how to maintain awareness of what's happening around you - active looking, scanning patterns, guaging closing speed, point of intersection and so forth. These are the skills that will make sure we're seen - not policies that make people do tests they aren't interested in, won't benefit from and will forget when they walk out the door.
  15. Possibly true, but I'm not sure that quoting the skills required to maintain situational awareness under a high cockpit workload is comparing apples with apples. As someone who employs both skill-sets almost daily, I can assure you that they are very different. One is essentially a set of structured disciplines, the other (the bike) is primarily hightened observation and accelerated reaction.
  16. Pedestrian craft is very different from vehicle craft - it is performed at different speeds, and using different controls. On the other hand, motorbikes and cars move at similar speeds, and the controls are essentially similar: gas, brake, clutch, steering... yes, they are not the same in operation, but conceptually they are similar to each other, and quite different from the art of walking.

    Agreed; the thing is, riding a bike (I'm talking about people having to actually ride, not just sitting some silly test) forces one to learn these skills faster and more effectively than driving a car because mistakes are followed by pain. Pain is a great teacher - you can spend weeks telling children not to play with fire. On the other hand, once they actually get burned, they tend to remember the lesson straight away :)
  17. I remember reading one of John Lender's press releases about 6 months ago claiming that their goal was to increase motor cycle awareness to new drivers.

    The method was to add ONE motorcycle related question to the Learners/Probabationary licence theory test in Victoria.

    How effective do you think that will be? :roll:

    although I guess it's a start.
  18. Personally I don't think it would make one scrap of difference. There are basically 2 types of altercations between cars & bikes. The first -where the driver simply does not see the bike. I will probably get flamed for this but a lot of that can be attributed to the riders position on the road ie sitting in a "blind spot" & the attitude that "I'm in the right so make way for me" Cars are bigger & heavier than bikes so I tend to err on the side of caution when territorial disputes arise.
    The second is where the driver actually sees the bike & simply does not give a shit. You can never train out basic stupidity/arrogance.
  19. ...and the third - when bikes hit a car beacuse they were doing something wrong/stupid. Plenty of cases of bikes running wide/overtaking and hitting oncoming vehicles, it's not just drivers that make mistakes.
    (I'll probably cop even more flaming over that one).
  20. some good points, but i don't believe this will ever happen.

    I wish there were more campaigns on tv aimed at driving AND riding safe

    People shouldn't be injured and die commuting.