Huge road safety boost for motorcycle riders just around the bend

Thursday 14 October, 2021

Almost 12,000 young and novice motorcycle riders will be reminded in coming days about crucial changes to South Australia’s motorcycle Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS), which come into effect next month to further protect lives and prevent serious injuries on our roads.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) has issued 11,963 notices to riders across South Australia explaining the enhanced GLS and what changes may be applicable to some road users from 22 November 2021.

Road Safety Minister Vincent Tarzia said the Marshall Liberal Government’s significant reform will save lives by ensuring riders graduate through a comprehensive licensing system that boosts road skills – the first upgrade to the previously ignored GLS since 2014.

“Motorcycle riders are some of our most vulnerable roads users. Tragically, 15 people (all male) have lost their lives on a motorbike this year,” Minister Tarzia said.

“That means motorcycle riders make up a staggering 20 per cent of lives lost in 2021.

“Sadly 10 of those riders left the road out of control and hit a fixed object.

“Our crucial changes – such as raising the minimum age for a learner’s permit and R-Date licence (comparable to a provisional driver’s licence) by two years – are needed to kerb this carnage.

“Giving young and novice motorcycle riders more time to hone their skills on two wheels is going to give them a far greater chance to arrive home safe and sound.

“Those extra years in the learner and R-Date stage could be lifesaving.

“We’re asking motorcycle riders who receive the letter to read and become familiar with the important information ahead of the changes on 22 November.”

A learner rider in breach of the new restrictions (see second page) can be fined $389 and accrue three demerit points.

Any rider who holds an R-Date licence (or less) and is caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than zero will be fined $771 and accrue four demerit points.

Between 2016-2020, 17% of lives lost on a motorcycle had a BAC over the limit.

In addition to the new safety measures, the Marshall Government is working on further improvements for motorcycle safety, including through boosting the Rider Safe training programme with input from road safety experts and through stakeholder consultation.

Rider Safe is a compulsory motorcycle training course for novice riders that provides tuition for basic and advanced skills necessary for safe road use.

For more information on the GLS or Rider Safe please visit:

The GLS reform is based on recommendations from an expert report provided by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) and was strengthened by input from key road safety stakeholders, motorcycle groups and industry representatives.

The changes include:


Minimum age:

  • Increase from 16 to 18.
  • 17 if holding a provisional car licence.
  • 16 if living in regional SA and travelling for education, work or sport.


  • Zero alcohol.
  • No passengers.
  • Prohibited from towing.
  • No riding between midnight and 5am if under 25.
  • Restricted to motorcycle with automatic transmission only if tested on one.

Period on learner’s permit:

  • Minimum 12 months in all circumstances.


Minimum age:

  • Increase from 17 to 19.


  • Zero alcohol.
  • Restricted to motorcycle with automatic transmission only if tested on one.

Period on an R-Date classification:

  • 2 years.


Minimum age:

  • Increase from 18 to 21.


  • Restricted to motorcycle with automatic transmission only if tested on one.