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Changes coming for learner motorcycle licence holders

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Learner motorcycle licence holders will be able to drive at similar speeds as vehicles travelling around them on open roads when updated traffic rules come into force this Saturday (1 October).

The update is part of the first set of the changes contained in the Land Transport (Driver Licensing) Amendment Rule 2011. Harry Wilson, acting group manager of the NZTA’s Access and Use Group said the changes aim to provide safer journeys for all road users.

“Removing the current 70km/h speed limit restriction for learner motorcycle licence holders is in line with best speed management practice where vehicles in high speed zones are safer when they travel at similar speeds,” said Mr Wilson.

“It will allow learner motorcycle riders to accumulate the experience of riding on the open road at the same speed as other vehicles around them as well as giving them the practice they need for their restricted licence test which includes riding at over 70km/h.”

Another change aimed at improving safety for road users affects both learner and restricted motorcycle licence holders. From 1 October, they will be prevented from towing a trailer with their motorcycle.

Further parts of the updated road rules affecting motorcycle riders need more lead-in time to implement and will come into force in October 2012. They include replacing the current 250cc engine capacity restriction for novice riders with a power-to-weight ratio based restriction (to be known as the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme), and introducing a competency-based training and assessment option for novice motorcyclists, as an alternative to the standard testing regime.

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