A Wodonga dad is risking thousands of dollars in fines just to help his son pursue his sporting dream.
Craig Martin’s 15-year-old son can be fined for riding his competition Enduro motor bike on bush tracks, even in the company of his father, but has no other alternative to prepare for competition.
Under Victorian law those under-18 need a full licence, Ls or Ps, to ride even a recreational registered bike in the bush. Presently there is no restricted licence option. An unlicensed rider can be fined $80, an unregistered recreational bike can attract a fine of $800.
Mr Martin wants the law to change and has found a groundswell of support and some powerful friends. A Facebook page, Rec Licence for kids, was started a little more than a month ago and has close to 3000 likes.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley wants Mr Martin to make a submission to the Law Reform, Road and Community Safety committee inquiry into lowering the probationary driving age to 17.
Submissions close on May 30 .
Comments from Member for Benambra Bill Tilley:
“Craig makes some valid points and this is certainly one issue our committee looking at lowering the age for probationary licences to 17 should also be investigating.
“My experience as a police officer has shown that these young riders are generally well schooled and better able to handle a bike when they get to the point where they are able to get their road licence.
“Victoria remains the only state in the country with the minimum driving age of 18.”
Comments from Wodonga resident Craig Martin:
“We want to be able to do the right thing, ride legally.
“You can get a restricted boat licence at 12, a restricted gun licence at the same age but to ride a bike in the bush with your parents you have to be 18.
“We have had unbelievable support from the wider community since starting the Facebook page.
“There would be hundreds, maybe thousands out there, facing the same dilemma.”
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