A chance comment in a conversation with one of the salesmen at my local motorcycle store today led me to follow up on the proposed new Graduated Licensing System laws that will commence in October this year.
Current learner rider restrictions are LAMS approved bike, must display L plates, no mobile phone use, zero blood alcohol, can’t carry a passenger or tow a trailer. Some of the key features that are additional to current requirements will be that learners:
- wear hi-viz vest or jacket
- must have the headlight on at all times
- can’t ride a manual gearshift bike if tested on an auto.
Once licensed, the restricted period will be increased from the current one year to three years. From 2015 tougher licensing requirement will also be introduced.
Full details HERE
Other than the fact that the Hi-Viz and daytime headlights are not evidence based initiatives (much contradictory research exists), it nearly took my breath away when I read that the State Gov’t are spending $2.92 million to implement this scheme FROM THE SO CALLED “Motorcycle Safety Levy“.
An interesting footnote is that when in opposition our current Premier agreed the Levy was unfair and promised to revoke it when in government. Yet another example of a politician breaking a promise – who would have thought!
Monday’s forecast was for fog followed by sunshine, which was very welcome after a wintery weekend. Better still, there is great Autumn (Fall for those of you in North America) weather forecast for the rest of the week. I left home around 10.00am in fog, however, it had lifted by the time I was 10 kms down the road. Just for a change I planned to ride the inland, rainforest section of Great Ocean Road in a clockwise direction, which provided a different perspective on this very familiar countryside – which I really enjoyed.
My first stop was the West Barwon dam.
I then tracked further inland through the Otway Ranges to Apollo Bay for lunch at the bakery. The road conditions were a bit a bit tricky actually, with sunlit entries to curves dry, but the shaded exits wet and greasy ( or vice versa). However, it kept me on my toes and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. From Apollo Bay my next stop was at Gibson’s Steps – near the 12 Apostles.
View from Gibson’s steps. (Grrr – dirty lens on camera!)
I didn’t stop at the Apostles and continued on to near-bye Port Campbell for a drink and some fuel. The bike was showing the ambient temp as 18C. The place was virtually deserted except for some international tourists in their camper vans. To my surprise a couple of people headed for the waves for a swim. (Perhaps they were from the UK and thought it was summer!).
The ZX14 probably didn’t really quite need fuel,especially at $1.75 per litre! However by gassing up here I was able to do a non stop, inland run back to Geelong. After concentrating hard in the twisty and shaded sections of the ride, it was actually great just cruising along through the farming country with the sun shining on me. By the time I got home at 4.00pm the air was getting chilly and I had done 379 kms of enjoyable riding.