Motorbike levy: MPs gearing up to cut bike safety fee

A $66 SLUG on motorbike riders to pay for safety schemes would be abolished under a recommendation from the parliamentary Road Safety Committee.

And if it is not abolished, the committee recommended closer scrutiny of the way the Motorcycle Safety Levy is used.

From May 2002 to July 2012 the levy has raised $45 million through mandatory rider contributions to the Transport Accident Commission, paid at the same time as motorbike registrations.

Riders are levied $66 with the annual registration of their first motorbike with an engine capacity above 126cc. Subsequent motorbike registrations in the same year are exempt from the levy, as are farm bikes and other speciality types.

Riders are the only group of road users levied for safety.

Education and research projects used $15.7 million of the collected levy and $27 million was spent on infrastructure such as installing anti-skid surfaces and clearing vegetation for better visibility.

The committee was told that the outcomes of the levy needed better auditing.

Of the committee's 64 recommendations, 12 focused on the levy.

The inquiry also found allowing riders to move to the front of traffic when cars are queuing at traffic lights, known as 'filtering', could "benefit" motorcyclist safety, and recommended investigation into the idea. It is legal to filter in New South Wales and overseas.

New technologies and countermeasures have been suggested for road users to increase safety. The committee found there was no star rating system for motorbike safety gear, despite a 1998 recommendation that VicRoads look into starting one.

It recommended star ratings that conform to European standards should be brought in within two years and fully operational in three years.

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