Tag Archives: driver’s licence

Swann backs down on age barrier

Swann Insurance has dropped its age cut-off for motorcycle insurance after a 76-year-old professor was denied insurance for his Indian Scout motorcycle last year.

Dr Marcus Wigan had been trying to enter an online Swann Insurance MotoGP competition in which entrants only had to apply for a quote. The competition gave no stipulation of an age limit.

However, when he filled in his birth date, the online application rejected his entry with the comment: “Age is not acceptable”. Marcus Wigan age Swann Insurance

The emeritus professor of transport tried to fill out the competition several times but was repeatedly rejected for his age.

“Ageism takes many forms,” says Marcus who has been riding for 62 years “without a single accident” and had been insured in the 1990s with Swann.

He phoned Swann’s parent company, IAG, who told him they had a “business rule” that no quotes were handled for ages over 75.

Marcus made several follow-up phone calls.

“Finally a junior manager entered my details manually. I didn’t win,” he says.

Marcus left a formal complaint and received a phone call from IAG’s lawyer who followed up with a letter stating that they felt the manual entry had covered Swann’s requirements in this case.

Human rights issue

Marcus Wigan harassment age
Marcus Wigan

Marcus then rang the Australian Human Rights Commission and asked if he had a valid age discrimination complaint.

“After a while I was asked by HRC to state what would resolve my complaint. I stated effectively exactly what IAG finally decided to enact,” he says.

Marcus received the following letter on April 1, although it is no joke!

Swann’s Guidelines and acceptance criteria will b e adjusted to accept quotations for motorcycle riders aged over 75 automatically, without any requirement for discretion. Further, Swann’s online systems rules and ratings will reflect the automatic acceptance of quotations for motorcycle ridders aged over 75. Swann will ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the updated acceptance rules. Whether cover is offered is otherwise subject to the usual underwriting criteria.

We contacted the Australian Financial Complaints Authority who advised that each insurer has their own underwriting criteria.

They refused to comment on this case.

Marcus says the Swann decision is a good model for the insurance industry to adopt.

“It is what I asked for, it’s perfectly sensible and allows normal underwriting analyses and decisions to continue without arbitrary age cutoffs as ‘business rules’,” he says.

Age restrictions on licencebeard age

There is no age restriction on motor vehicle licences.

However, each state does have certain restrictions on aged licence holders.

They may be required to carry a current medical certificate and have annual or biennial medical check-ups to assess their suitability to hold a licence.

They may also be restricted to the use of a vehicle within certain times and areas.

There is no distinction between licences for cars or motorcycles.

Click here for more specific details on aged licence restrictions.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Driver licence before riding plan rejected

Public support for learner riders to first have L-plate car driving experience for one year has been rejected by South Australian riding group Ride to Review.

The plan is part of a licensing review which also recommends lifting the ages for learner riders from 16 to 18 and full-licensed riders from 20 to 21.5.

Tim Kelly of Ride to Review has rejected an ABC Adelaide Facebook poll which found 72% public support for the plan.Licensing plan rejected

He says “no specific evaluation of the measure has yet been undertaken”.

“RTR believe improved rider education and training are the key areas to be development in order to produce safer riders,” he says.

Licensing laws

The only other state with similar licensing laws is Queensland where learner riders must have held a provisional, P1, P2 or open car licence for a year. South Australia’s suggestion is that riders must only have a learner plate for a year.

It runs contrary to practices in countries such as Italy where 15-year-olds can first ride a two-wheeler up to 50cc before getting a car or motorcycle licence.

Proponents say it gives young motorists more road awareness and makes them more aware of motorcyclists on the road when they get old enough to obtain a licence.

On the other hand, modern cars are so safe with crash cells, stability control and various driver aids and warnings that they may give young drivers a false sense of invincibility.

It may also lead drivers to ignore vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists who pose no danger to them, leading to SMIDSY crashes.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffiths says tougher licensing laws across the nation have put the motorcycle industry under “more pressure than we’ve ever had in the past”.

He says the tougher licensing laws have dramatically increased the price of obtaining a motorcycle licence and may have led to an increase in unlicensed riding.

Fatal statisticsLicensing plan rejected

National statistics from 1995 to 2019 show a steady decrease in fatalities among under 30-year-old riders from 562 in the five-year period from 1995 to ’99 to 312 from 2015 to ’19.

Over the past five years, under 30s have not had the largest number of fatalities, being overtaken for the first time by over 50s with 323 deaths.

This could be the result of tougher licensing laws.

However, it could also be due to the fact that the number of young riders getting licenses has declined while the number of returned riders has increased.

The statistical trends are similar in all states including Queensland and South Australia where under-30s fatalities have halved since 1995.

Licence review

SA considers increasing rider ages rejected
RTR has rejected plans to require car L-plates before getting a bike licence

The South Australian review of the Graduated Licensing System was undertaken by the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR).

The 15 key recommendations included increasing rider age to reduce the crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old riders and reducing crashes involving motorcyclists holding a learner permit or R-Date licence class.

Under the recommendations, pre-learner and learner age would be lifted from 16 to 18 and unrestricted licence from 20 to 21 and six months.

Other recommendations include displaying correct plates, restricting pillions, mandatory carriage of licence, a night curfew, zero blood alcohol, a lower demerit point threshold for disqualification, no mobile phones and hi-vis vests for novices as in Victoria.

A total of 1553 participants responded to the consultation, while key road safety stakeholders, motorcycling industry representatives and other interested parties provided feedback through formal submissions.

The consultation outcomes report Protecting South Australia’s Novice Motorcyclists: Outcomes from Public Consultation outlines the feedback from the community and stakeholders.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Former racer Guy Martin’s licence a fake?

Former Isle of Man TT racer, motorcycle daredevil and TV presenter Guy Martin has pleaded not guilty to having a fake driving licence.

What! The man who broke the speed record for riding an Indian Scout (above) around the Wall of Death and crashed while attempting to break the 400mph speed barrier in a Triumph streamliner doesn’t have a proper licence?

Guy says no way!

He has pleaded not guilty in Lincoln Crown Court in the UK on two charges of using a fake Irish driving licence.

A two-day trial into the matter will be held next July.

Guy claims he had an Irish document so he could get a UK driving licence.

The former British truck driver raced in the Isle of Man TT from 2003-2015 and made a one-off return in 2017.

Guy Martin at the Isle of Man TT fake
Guy Martin at the Isle of Man TT

Despite never winning a TT, he has 17 podiums.

Since his racing retirement he has presented several TV shows in which he performs daredevil motoring stunts.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com