QLD Motorbike Licence - Supervision for a Leaner Motorbike Rider?

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Fred Frog

27 March 2017
In Queensland, if you hold a motorbike learner's licence, then you are only allowed to ride a motorbike if you are being supervised by someone who holds an open motorbike licence. I believe this is the relevant parts of legislation from Section 5 of Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010:

(11) However, a holder who is authorised to learn to drive a vehicle
under this section or section 128(12) or 131(2) must not drive
the vehicle on a road unless—
(a) the holder is driving under the direction of a person
(i) holds an O type licence for the class of vehicle that
the holder is driving; and
(ii) has held an O type licence for the class of vehicle
that the holder is driving for at least 1 year; and​
(b) if the vehicle is a vehicle with passenger seating
capacity—the person sits next to the holder.
Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.​
And also Schedule 3B:

3B Learner driving while not under direction of licensed driver
The number of points for a contravention of section 4(7) or 5(11) of this regulation is 4.​

I'm curious about what "driving under the direction of a person" means. It doesn't appear to be defined anywhere. For a car it's clear from section 5(11)(b) that the person has to be sitting next to the holder.

Most motorbikes have a "passenger seating capacity", but it's expressly forbidden elsewhere in the legislation for a learner to carry a passenger (section 64(1)). I guess that expresses an intent though that the person has to be in close proximity.

Suppose the person said to the holder, "Ride around the block, and come back here," or "Ride down to the supermarket carpark and practice there for an hour, and then come back here." Would that constitute "driving under the direction of a person"? In plain English I think it would.

Personally, I would like to practice riding my motorbike without direct supervision. I believe I could do so safely. I don't plan to do that, however, since I suspect things would not turn out well legally for me if I were caught, so I'm really just asking out of curiosity. What would likely happen in the above two scenarios if I tried to challenge a charge of learner driving without supervision?

Homer jay

Well-Known Member
14 September 2016
No, you need to be with someone on a motorbike and with motorbike licence and be with them on the road.

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
It's because you must be 'driving under the direction'. The ambit of the law is that a suitably qualified driver must be there to supervise and direct the learner, continuously. If they told you to 'ride around the block and come back', then you are no longer truly under their direction because they are not present to correct or change the instruction to suit the circumstances.