Motorcycle Safety Levy

The Motorcycle Safety Levy (MSL) is collected as part of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) premium in registrations for motorcycles with an engine capacity of 126cc or above. In 2021 the levy was $75.90 (incl GST) per registration. This levy contributes to projects that improves the safety of motorcycle riders. 

Since its introduction in 2002, over $86 million has been invested in a range of targeted safety initiatives across the following investment areas:

  • Road safety infrastructure for motorcyclists
  • Technology and Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS)
  • Education and research 
  • Motorcycle policy and law

Infrastructure improvements represent the largest area of investment from the Levy and can include measures such as improved curve alignment signage and delineation, rub-rail protection at the base of barriers, bell mouth sealing, post cushions and surface improvements. Other investment area examples include: motorcycle lane filtering legislation (Motorcycle Policy and Law), motorcycle graduated licensing scheme implementation (Education and Research) and motorcycle anti-lock braking technology promotion (Technology and ITS). A breakdown of the Levy investment for completed projects is shown in Figure 1.

Breakdown of Levy investment (2002-2020) 

Figure 1: Breakdown of Levy investment (2002-2020)

Road Safety Program 

The Victorian and Australian Governments are investing $14.4 million on seven motorcycle safety route improvements in high-risk motorcycle routes across Victoria as part of the $300 million Road Safety Program.

These projects are expected to be delivered in 2021, weather permitting.

Key information:

  • Yarra Junction-Noojee Road (Baw Baw Shire and Yarra Ranges Shire)
    • Cost: $1.5 million ($300,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends, rub-rail and targeted resurfacing.
  • Mallacoota Road (East Gippsland Shire) 
    • Cost: $2.7 million ($540,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends, shoulder sealing on the inside of high-risk bends.
  • Lang Lang-Poowong Road (South Gippsland Shire) 
    • Cost: $1.5 million ($300,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends, rub-rail and targeted resurfacing.
  • Forrest–Apollo Bay Road and Skenes Creek Road (Colac-Otway Shire) 
    • Cost: $3.15 million ($630,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends and rub-rail installation.
  • Meeniyan Mirboo North Road (South Gippsland Shire) 
    • Cost: $1.2 million ($240,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends and rub-rail.
  • Wilsons Promontory Road (South Gippsland Shire) 
    • Cost: $3 million ($300,000 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends, improved delineation and rub rail. 
  • Great Alpine Road (East Gippsland Shire) 
    • Cost: $1.39 million ($277,200 MSL contribution)
    • Treatments include: bell-mouth sealing, curve warning signage for high-risk bends, improved delineation, and shoulder sealing on the inside of high-risk bends. 

Gippsland Trail Bike Safety Pilot Project

The Gippsland Trail Bike Safety Pilot Project is a collaboration between the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Forest Fire Management), the Department of Transport and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to address rider safety in the Neerim State Forest. 

The construction of the track network will begin in late 2021 and is expected to be completed by mid 2022, weather permitting.

Key information:

  • The trail head is located at the Latrobe River Road motorcycle unloading area. 
  • Planning and mapping of 40 kilometres of track commenced in May 2021.
  • The mapping component of the project recognises the skills and experience of local riders, using their local knowledge and insight to provide feedback on the trail experience and durability as it is marked every 5 kilometres. 

Cost: $2.8 million  

Upper Murray Region motorcycle route safety improvements

The Upper Murray region in Towong Shire Council is popular with recreational and touring motorcycle riders. 

Through a $3.5 million investment, a range of safety treatments will be delivered to provide consistent and predictable riding experiences while reducing rider risks associated with the road environment.

These works include road sealing at driveways and intersections, installation of rub rails to protect motorcyclists, reviewing advisory speed limits, and improved road signage to warn motorcyclists of high-risk locations. 

Murray Valley Highway motorcycle route safety improvements between Wodonga (Victoria) and the New South Wales border (Towong Shire) 

Cost: $1.7 million  
Length: 135km
Start Date: 2021
End Date: 2022

Murray River Road motorcycle route safety improvements between Lake Hume village and the intersection with Murray Valley Highway, Corryong (Towong Shire) 

Cost: $1.25 million 
Length: 140km
Start Date: 2021
End Date: 2022

Shelley Walwa Road motorcycle route safety improvements between the townships of Walwa and Shelley (Towong Shire) 

Cost: $547,000  
Length: 32km
Start Date: 2021
End Date: 2022


Forrest Apollo Bay Road motorcycle route safety improvements between Forrest and Skenes Creek (Colac-Otway Shire)

This route is located within Barwon South Western region and is a popular motorcycle touring route.

Between June 2014 and June 2019, there were a total of 11 motorcycle crashes along this stretch of road, six of which resulted in serious injury. 

This project aims to reduce motorcycle trauma severity through the addition of rub-rail at high-risk curves.  

Cost: $551,000  
Length: 32km
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2022


Colac Lavers Hill Road motorcycle route safety improvements between Kawarren and Carlisle River (Colac-Otway Shire)

This route is located within Barwon South Western region and is a popular motorcycle touring route.

This project aims to reduce motorcycle trauma severity through the addition of rub-rail at high-risk curves.

Cost: $400,000  
Length: 9km
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2021


Manufacturers Guide for motorcycle protective clothing (Moto-CAP) 

The objectives of this project are to improve the quality of motorcycle protective jackets and pants available to Australian riders by providing scientifically based guidance to the motorcycle protective clothing manufacturing industry. 

Evidence from research and MotoCAP testing shows that a substantial proportion of the available personal protective equipment (PPE) garments are not designed for optimal safety, or are made from materials that do not provide sufficient protection to motorcyclists in the instance of a crash.

This project will produce a guide developed in consultation with industry and include both written and video collateral to improve rider safety.

Cost: $100,000
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2022


On-road abrasion testing of motorcycle protective clothing

Soft tissue injury from abrasion is the most common injury sustained in motorcycle crashes. Protective clothing is assessed against European standards for abrasion resistance, but to date those standards have not been validated against the abrasive characteristics of different road surfaces. 

This project will undertake impact abrasion resistance testing of motorcycle clothing materials on a variety of road surfaces. 

The analysed results from this testing will provide road and garment designers with an understanding of what influence a road surface has on abrasion severity. Results will be disseminated widely through the road, scientific and clothing manufacturing community to improve rider safety.

Cost: $120,000 
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2021


Vulnerable Road User Detection Trial, stage 2 - Business Case and Study Design

We’ve been investigating and trialing technology to help reduce head-on collisions with other motorists by priming them to motorcyclists, to increase awareness and perception of this vulnerable road user.

In October 2018, a demonstration of LiDAR technology was successfully completed on the Yarra Boulevard, demonstrating that the technology and VRU recognition software can identify motorcycles and bikes on the same side of the road. 

A business case and study design has occurred to trial development and design, specify procure, delivery and an evaluation. The third stage is to implement the trial with the goal to demonstrate that technology can help manage high-risk sections, target messages to other motorists to alert them of up-coming vulnerable road users and to raise awareness of motorcyclists.

Cost: $55,000 
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2021


Analysis of Advanced Rider Training Programs

A recent research project found that subsidies do not incentivise riders to undertake training and that engagement is essential to influence rider safety choices. This research project included interviews with Australian and international accredited licensing and training organisations, as well as a review of research on advanced and post-licence motorcycle training schemes.

Cost: $46,000 
Start Date: 2020
End Date: 2021


Every Second, always on campaign (2019)

VicRoads, in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission launched the Every second - always on campaign in June 2019 which encourages riders to brush up on their safe riding skills and knowledge.

The campaign highlights the need for motorcyclists to be constantly vigilant and focuses on key contributors to crashes including:

  • speed
  • cornering
  • road positioning
  • road hazards
  • other road users

It also includes an online quiz (External link) to test and refresh motorcyclists’ knowledge of safe riding behaviour and road rules.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) campaign (2017)

ABS on motorcycles prevents wheel locking and increases stability.

Bikes with ABS are safer and encourage those looking to purchase a bike to buy one with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Lane filtering: Go with the flow (2017)

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle or scooter travels at low speeds through stopped or slow-moving traffic. It is legal in Victoria and affects all road users. For a quick explanation of motorcycle lane filtering, take a look at this short video. More information on lane filtering.

A list of previously completed projects can be found here [DOC 139 Kb] 

Governance

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists between the Department of Transport (formerly VicRoads) and the TAC that governs the process for the development and approval of motorcycle safety levy projects. 

To guide the investment of funds, a Strategic Guide for the Expenditure of the Motorcycle Safety Levy (the Guide) was developed. The Guide was initially created by the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in consultation with road safety professionals and the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council (VMAC).

The following objectives need to be met for a project to be approved:

  • Significantly improve the safety of riders by addressing the key issues in rider safety.
  • Where the expected benefits to riders exceed the cost of the program.
  • Would not otherwise be funded from other road safety budgets.

Download a copy of the Guide [DOC 328 Kb]

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