Motorcycle Driver Licencing
Back on the 25th of July I wrote about the rash of motorcycle collisions on Vancouver Island. Most were attributed to driver error and I wrote that the Graduated Licencing Program gave new drivers plenty of time to develop their skills before moving on to the next stage. Since then many riders have taken the time to point out to me that this is not the case when the rider already has a BC driver's licence for a vehicle other than a motorcycle.
"I was a learner and had my full privilege driver's licence in 32 days" wrote one man. He said that he was disgusted at how easy it was to obtain the motorcycle licence and that he did not have to display a new driver sign at any time during those 32 days. He also suggested it would be interesting to know how many of these fatalities happened to riders who went through the GLP and how many went the same route he had.
I returned to the ICBC web site and read the section on obtaining a motorcycle driver's licence when you already had another class of BC licence. It does state that you must remain a class 6 learner for at least 30 days, operate under the direct supervision of an adult holder of a class 6 licence, travel no faster than 60 km/h, carry no passengers and operate during daylight hours only. There is no need to display a new driver sign.
After the 14 days have passed a new rider may take a motorcycle skills test generally conducted in a paved lot at low speed. The allows the examiner to determine if the rider has the necessary balance and steering skills. Once 30 days have passed and the rider has successfully completed the skills test, the final one hour road test can be taken and if successful the rider would then hold a full privilege class 6 licence.
The writer was clear that 30 days was far too short a period and suggested that BC should consider the example set by England requirig that a rider develop skills on motorcycles with small engine displacements before moving up to larger more powerful machines.
What do you think? Send your comments by e-mail if you wish and I will post them to the Feedback page of the Behind the Wheel web site.