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Motorcycle safety set to improve but mopeds miss out

02 September 2011

Motorcycle safety set to improve but mopeds miss out

News that the Government has confirmed a number of Rule changes to improve licensing and safety of motorcycle riders can’t come soon enough, but more needs to be done for moped riders according to Motor Trade Association (MTA).

MTA Spokesperson, Ana Zandi says, initiatives to increase motorcycle safety through improving motorcycle rider training and assessment tools and the introduction of power to weight restrictions for novice riders will go a long way towards reducing the high number of motorcycle related deaths. However, MTA is disappointed Government has chosen not to introduce a mandatory Warrant of Fitness (WoF) test for mopeds and delay the introduction of a moped-specific licence for riders.

“We have been advocating for these changes for some time and we believe that there needs to be some consistency with other motorcycle safety initiatives. Mopeds are travelling on the roads mixing with all other traffic as well. They have tyres, brakes and indicators, just like every other powered device – we are surprised that this class of motorcycle would be exempt from passing a roadworthiness inspection,” she says.

“We believe the skills required to ride a moped are very similar to those required for a motorcycle, other than the fact that a motorcycle has more power. Also, it is increasingly likely that an entrant moped owner may not have had much experience riding a bicycle. Years ago, most children rode bicycles to school and learned the basic skills involved in operating a two wheel device. These days, it seems that there is a high number of children being dropped off to school by parents so they haven’t developed these skills.”
There are an increasing number of people choosing to ride mopeds. Last year there were almost 2,500 new mopeds registered along with a further 500 used imported units.

July this year saw the introduction of a new Rule making it compulsory for any moped (motorcycles 50cc and under, with a top speed of not more than 50 km/h) to be inspected visually before it can be registered in New Zealand, thereby removing the possibility that substandard and non-compliant mopeds may be registered.

MTA adds, while the introduction of this Rule change is a great first step in increasing the safety of moped riders, there are some other measures that would help to ensure moped riders have the best possible chance of staying safe on the road.


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