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New licensing option for safer motorcycling from next year

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The NZ Transport Agency will roll out a new driver licensing option aimed at improving the safety of motorcyclists from 1 March 1 2014.

The Agency is introducing an optional competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) licensing regime for motorcyclists from next March.

Transport Agency Road Safety Director Ernst Zollner said CBTA would provide a new training and assessment option for people getting their motorcycle licence where, instead of taking a practical test at each stage of their licence, they can choose to have their riding skills assessed by an approved CBTA assessor.

“The more training and practical riding experience a motorcyclist gets, the more prepared they’re likely to be for potentially unsafe or challenging riding scenarios, which is where CBTA has the potential to improve safety for riders.”

CBTA uses the knowledge and experience of industry based assessors who have been approved by the Transport Agency to train and assess motorcyclists riding skills. The assessments are designed to ensure motorcyclists are competent in a prescribed range of riding skills, which are important to keep them and other road users safe when riding on our roads.

The CBTA system will also introduce a competency-based time reduction, meaning a motorcyclist can progress through the system faster if they can demonstrate the necessary skills against a prescribed range of riding competencies.

Motorcyclists will be able to choose between the existing driver licensing testing regime and the new competency-based training and assessment courses, or a combination of the two, to gain their restricted and/or full motorcycle licence.

CBTA is an initiative of the government’s Safer Journeys strategy, which identifies motorcycling safety as a priority area for improvement.

“Riding a motorcycle requires a different set of skills and a higher level of vehicle control than driving a car, and when a motorcycle crashes riders and passengers are much more likely to be seriously injured.

“Through Safer Journeys we’re working to make our roads and roadsides safer for motorcyclists, but we also need to improve the skills of riders to reduce the unacceptable number of deaths and serious injuries suffered by motorcyclists on our roads every year,” Mr Zollner said.

More information about CBTA and what it involves can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/cbta(external link) 

Information on the Safer Journeys actions for motorcycle safety can be found here(external link).

The link below provides an overview of the Transport Agency’s Safer Rides(external link) pilot project, aimed at improving motorcycle safety along a 130km round-trip route in the southern Coromandel.

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