Motorbike licence tests too easy, says Ballarat instructor
Motorcycle licences are too easy to attain and proper training is not mandatory, according to motorcycle groups and a Ballarat riding instructor and licence tester.
Ross Skilbeck is an instructor and tester for Stay Upright Motorcycle Techniques, the city’s only licence tester.
He says the current tests mandated by VicRoads, do not require riders to prove they can actually ride in traffic.
The tests in Ballarat take place at the Ballarat airport and require licence aspirants to perform a series of turns and stops at no more than 30km/h.
Mr Skilbeck said although his company offered a wide range of courses for riders to develop their skills, most opted not to undertake them.
“It would be nice if we could get some more on-road instruction,” he said.
“There is no exposure to traffic, which I think is the main downfall in the system.”
Mr Skilbeck said the course to attain a licence took six-hours, including instruction and the test.
“In terms of being a learner driver it is probably better than getting a car licence in that you actually have to be able to ride.
“I’ve seen some pretty ordinary riders turn up and they don’t always get their licence,” he said.
“But when it comes to getting a full or probationary licence, it would be good to see some traffic exposure.”
Mr Skilbeck’s thoughts were echoed by members of the Ballarat Rovers Motorcycle Club, who also felt it was too easy to gain a licence and that it did not require proper ability to ride.
Under current rules, there is no requirement to prove that riding practice has been done, meaning riders could gain their full licence without any actual practice.
“Riding around on an open space like the airport isn’t the same as as riding on the road,” said president Mick Nash.
Mr Skilbeck estimated about 300 people got their motorcycle licence in Ballarat each year.