Glenorchy’s Full Gear program held a skills day for young motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 25 on Saturday at Baskerville Raceway in Old Beach.
This was an exciting opportunity for young people undertaking the P’s program of the Full Gear training to undertake a series of self-improvement and self-assessment exercises. Riders buddied-up with more experienced riders who mentored them to help build their understanding of their skills and weaknesses.
The Full Gear motorcycle training program, launched in 2017 by Glenorchy City Council in conjunction with the Bucaan Community House, is set to continue for another 5 years after Council was successful in obtaining funding from the Department of State Growth to continue the program.
The Full Gear program was developed in response to concerning road safety statistics that showed young people were over-represented in serious injury crashes and fatalities, as well as community concern about unlicensed and dangerous riding on local streets.
Mayor Bec Thomas says Council is looking forward to continuing to support the project, which has already had a positive impact on the community, with 75 young riders obtaining their learner motorbike license since January 2017.
“The statistics tell us that motorbike riders are overrepresented in road crashes, with motorcyclists making up 25% of serious casualties on Tasmanian roads” said Mayor Thomas, “this is despite only making up 5% of vehicles on the roads. Council’s Full Gear program works to change this statistic and make our roads safer, through ongoing road safety education and events such as Baskerville on Saturday”.
The Full Gear initiative aims to reduce risk-taking by young people and encourages participants to engage positively in motorcycle road safety education. The associated cost of licencing and safety gear is a common barrier for many young people, which is why participants of the program receive up to $400 of funding to cover the cost of a learner license test and safety gear such as helmets and gloves.
Mayor Thomas says that the program has been a positive force for change in the local community. “It has not only equipped young people with the knowledge and gear they need to ride safely and legally, but also nurtured and fostered a love of riding in the community and a sense of belonging and identity for the young people involved in the program”.