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N/A | National Should you have a car license before getting a motorycle license?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by robsalvv, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. The powers that be are tossing up the idea of MANDATING that you can not get a motorcycle license without first getting a car license, presumably a P1 as a minimum.

    I got my rider license at 29. I felt that being a driver helped me shorten the rider roadcraft and road awareness learning process but didn't think that this should be the way for everyone though.

    Anyway, what do you guys think about this proposal? Who's for it? Who is against it?

  2. I HATE the idea that it may be REQUIRED. Gubberment piss off and find something else to mandate.

    That said, I feel the same as you rob:
    I would personally recommend everyone get their car licence first to get an idea of how traffic behaves, and learn how things happen on the road before hopping onto something as vulnerable as a motorcycle without a clue in the world.
    There are a lot of valuable lessons that as a car driver i never knew existed until i hopped on a motorcycle, and those lessons cant be learnt in a car, but having had it impressed upon me to get my car licence first, im very glad i did.
    If i had hopped onto a bike with no hazard perception skills or roadcraft to speak of, i am the first to admit id be very likely injured by now.
  3. I have to agree with the thoughts of Rob and Messy ... I am quite late to the motorcycling game, but I bring with me 20 years of experience as a driver. Because of this I can "read the minds" of car drivers (and predict their behaviour / lack of awareness) a little better.

    I am grateful for this grounding and I think I would have been significantly more vulnerable on the roads if I had started riding at the age of 18.

    This is not going to be a popular rule if it's implemented but I do believe it has the potential to reduce accidents.

  4. I think the idea is sound, and I'm insisting my son do just that; I want him in the somewhat protective cocoon of a cage while he learns how traffic works...
    But I hate the idea of more and more mandates like this, and can't help wondering what would come next - minimum age of 25 for a rider's license? 30? It's all a bit nanny-state for my liking.
  5. this is a pretty stupid idea for country farm owning types.
  6. Why is it a bad thing to mandate when in hindsight, by your own admissions, it was a good thing?

  7. because what was a good thing in one situation does not in any way reflect on all situations.
  8. Does your argument also apply to the mandating of helmets and seat belts? What situations are you thinking of?

  9. When I was overseas back in the late 80's, the country I was in allowed 16 year olds to get a licence to ride scooters. So at School there were a heap of them around, and on the road there was a heap too. The speed limit was your usual Northern European semi rural limit so I was not aware of any shocking collisions. What I was aware of was that there was a great variety of young people familiar with the road rules and more aware of two wheels and the issues involved with driving. I have always been impressed by that system.

    Having said that, this was the only place I was nearly maimed by a 5 series BMW that couldn't take a bend in the snow. (I was a pedestrian, not one of the young drunks in the car). :(
  10. I am against it. I have never had a driver's license (only been riding since 2006). No need to even argue it, really, people should be able to choose.
  11. As my original post, the first example that comes to mind is that of farming families, who's kids grow up on paddock bashers, and most have got significant road experience (riding and driving) by the time they are 15.

    Other things that come to mind revolve around growing up on and around motorcycles.

    Seatbelts: a well-proven life saving device, dont particularly get in the way and even the simple three point belt helps enormously around corners. No issues there.
    Helmets: bit more grey. Would I like to ride around the block without a helmet on just to feel the wind in my hair and face? without a doubt. Can I cope going without that feeling? yeh.

    Does riding before driving automatically write your death warrant for you? Not by any means as far as I can see.
  12. I learnt to ride at age 5, on my uncle's beach property in the late 70's.
    At around 12 I was rounding up cattle on another uncle's farm on an Aggie, and crashing his RM80 all over the back paddock. I also learnt to drive cars and tractors on that farm...
    By the time I was entitled to a license, controlling various types of motorcycles (including step-throughs and quads by that stage) was literally second nature to me.
    I'm sure kids in rural areas today have similar experience, as Lilley pointed out.
    But my son had no experience controlling any vehicle when he passed his L's test - it's "horses for courses", if you'll pardon the pun.
  13. Shouldn't be forcing people who never want a Car to do go through all that.

    Also considering scooters are motorbikes as far as the RTA is concerned but are easier to handle than a manual car... bugger that~ (And for once the opinions of a clutz with the bravery of a mouse is useful perspective for difficulty :p)
  14. Strictly speaking i was riding on the farm too.
    I just dont like the gubberment forcing yet another nannystate beige callitwhatyouwill thing on us, when despite how i personally feel from my own experiences, the greater majority of people hopping on a bike first up DO get along just fine without driving a car.

    Id support it if they said that to get your FULL car licence you must also spend a year on a bike.
  15. I think the authorities argue that learner and novice riders / drivers crash more because their skills are fledgling, so a cage around a learner driver is a lot more forgiving of mistakes.

    The authorities will point to stats that apparently show novice riders as being over represented in the crash stats - and take this stat to indicate how bad novice riders are. Frankly I'm not convinced that those stats don't also or more strongly show that that group of riders have more crashes on record simply from the point of view of exposure, i.e., they use any excuse to get on the road and do so as often as they can, so they are exposing themselves to a risky environment more often.

    As a novice rider I did thousands of kms in my minimum 3months... I'd be lucky to do that now.

    ...so if the issue is with the basic competence of the novice rider being let loose on the road, then I think a suitably tailored/extended L's course might cut it. I'm not convinced the car path is the best path - and like Lilley points out, the car first idea is pretty much a city / big town centric idea.

    NiteKreeper, how'd your son take the news that you wanted the car before bike option for him?
  16. My almost 20 years driving experience has made a massive diff to my riding so far.
  17. Against.

    If you got your drivers licence at say 18, you’d have had 11 years driving experience versus only the couple of years driving the strategy seems to be suggesting.

    So, if actually comparing apples with apples I’m struggling to see what advantages a couple of years behind the wheel of a car give. Remembering also that the current average age of learner riders (eg. 30-32) is far higher than learner drivers ... so in view of age it’s still not really comparing apples with apples.

    Do learner/new riders (motorcycles) proportionally outnumber learner/new drivers (cars) in the accident count?

    Rob, can you elaborate on what stats they’re using to claim this ?

    I honestly don’t see what benefits only a couple of years driving has that would warrant it being of value to riding.

    In fact, I’d wager that the awareness (reading traffic, hazard perception, roadcraft etc) of a new rider who hasn’t driven a car is superior to that of a new driver who hasn’t ridden a motorcycle after only a couple of years.

    I also came to riding after driving for many years, and frankly believe it did diddly squat insofar as helping my riding. Yes, I’m in a better position insofar as reading traffic etc than someone who’s starting completely from scratch ... but we’re talking about driving experience far in excess of a couple of years.

    Some random thoughts:

    - Both involve an initial period of bedding down the basic operational skills, a motorcycle involves co-ordinating body parts differently to that for a car and that co-ordination is not readily transferable between the two – it’s learnt. So when you transfer from car to bike you are effectively going back to scratch with a significant proportion of brain space occupied with coming to terms with the basics.

    What are the differences between a driver & a rider once they’ve got the basics down? For riders I’d have thought that’s a point where they really begin to learn to ride, whereas for a large proportion of drivers I’d have thought that point was a plateau.

    - Motorcycle roadcraft is very different to that in a car.

    - Riding a motorcycle puts someone more immediately in touch with their environment and its risks than driving a car which consequently heightens the senses, including the defenses – that vigilance being an in-built, active, safety mechanism that initially goes a long way towards keeping new riders safe. Many learners (the majority?) err on the side of caution when starting out, pootling around the block, back streets etc and heading out in the quieter hours. So, is it really learners? Or do the issues begin to arise once past that initial learner stage, eg. 9-15 mths?

    - Can see more on a motorcycle than from inside a car (vision is king) which is of prime importance in hazard detection.

    Other countries (EU) by comparison:

    14 years – France, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Estonia
    15 years – Finland, Czech republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
    16 years – in all other EU countries, eg UK, Norway etc

    125cc – 16 yrs (restricted to 80 km/hr till 18)
    25kw - 16-18 yrs
    In excess of 25kw – 20 yrs (subject to minimum 2yrs experience, otherwise 21)

    17 yrs – UK, Iceland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Hungary
    18 yrs – all other EU countries

    For further comparisons between countries there's a table on European driving licences here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_driving_licence

    My question in relation to this DNRSS proposition is that if having a car licence prior to a riding licence is of such benefit, then why have all these countries- amongst which number the leaders of the Vision Zero results - adopted the reverse?
  18. Got a link?
  19. I rode before I drove, but we are talking crappy dirt bikes and bailing wire road bikes we used to bash around the paddock, but I had my car licence for at least 5 yrs before I got my bike licence. No main reason other than a belief that it was easier to get laid if you had a car ..

    Having said that I agree with the OP, it's a good idea but I would hate to think I ws being told I had!
  20. While I don't like the idea of having it mandated that you must have a car licence first, I do think that having a car licence does help with riding. This is because it helps with understanding what to look for and be cautious of. It would help with judgement of the traffic movements.
    I think that learning all in a cage is a far safer option and at least when you slam the stopped when something happens at low speed that you don't expect it wont fall on you.

    With everyones circumstances being different and a lot of people having riding experience previous, mandating just comes down to a blanket of coton wool for everyone.