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by Tim Beissmann

Motorists should be retested every five years in order to keep their driver’s licence and make the roads safer, a Victorian law firm believes.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has submitted a safety inquiry proposal to the Victorian Parliament with a view to improving road safety for motorcycle riders.

The firm’s TAC (Transport Accident Commission) principal, John Voyage, said the increasing number of motorcyclists on Victoria’s roads meant increasing safety and awareness of riders was of paramount importance.

“Victoria is experiencing a boom in motorcycle use, and attitudes to motorcyclists from the general motoring public and law and road safety agencies needs to change,” Mr Voyage said.

“It is essential that education for motorists is improved and one way to ensure this is would be the introduction of mandatory or voluntary refresher courses every five years.”

Maurice Blackburn’s submission suggests young motorists should have some form of refresher when graduating from red Ps to green Ps, and again when they graduate to their full licence.

Mr Voyage proposed retests for experienced drivers could be voluntary – in which case, drivers would be rewarded with reduced insurance premiums – or mandatory – where drivers would be trained and tested every five years in order to renew their licence.

The submission identifies a number of issues concerning motorcyclists and road safety including the increasing popularity of GPS and entertainment devices in cars and the subsequent increase in driver distraction.

 

Mr Voyage said the inquiry would bring together a range of views and opinions of road safety agencies, law authorities and the motorcycling community to create a coordinated approach to road and motorcycle safety.

As of January 2011, there were 160,635 motorcycles registered in Victoria. That’s more than one quarter of all bikes in the country, and represents growth of more than 40 per cent since 2006.

What do you think? Should all motorists be retested every five years, or is the suggestion overkill? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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