LIVESTOCK SA is calling on the State Government to consider special provisions for young people working in farming operations to be included in legislation which raises the minimum age for obtaining a motorcycle learner’s permit in South Australia.
The Motor Vehicles (Motor Bike Driver Licensing) Amendment Bill 2020 passed Parliament in early March, which increases the minimum age for a learner’s permit and R-Date licence by two years.
Livestock SA has been actively lobbying against an increase in the minimum age for a motorcycle learner’s permit since 2018 with concerns the increase could impact the day-to-day operation of livestock businesses.
Livestock SA is very aware road safety and reducing motorcycle accidents and fatalities is paramount.
Although it is essential to put measures in place to prevent the loss of young lives on South Australian roads, regional and rural producers often use motorbikes as an essential part of their businesses.
Exemptions have been put in place in the legislation for regional motorcyclists, as access to public transport in regional South Australia is limited.
However, there are still limited concessions for young rural people using motorbikes within a livestock business or where young people live in metropolitan areas and want to work on farms located close by.
It is common for young people in rural areas to use a motorcycle for work on a family farm or to travel on the road between paddocks or different sections of the property.
This legislation may discourage young people living in SA under the age of 18 from a career in agriculture and limit the operation of livestock businesses.
Major changes to this legislation should have been left until after the Road Safety Strategy was in place.
Increasing the emphasis on driver and rider education may help to reduce the incidence of motorcycle accidents on rural roads.
Road safety messaging, along with theory and practical driver training, needs to start and be reinforced within schools.
– ANDREW CURTIS, Chief Executive Officer, Livestock SA