Motorcycles, quad bikes and scooters

Motorcycle riders: road rules

On 1 August 2019, the road rules were amended in the Northern Territory (NT).

To find out more, go to the Towards Zero Road Safety NT website.

You must adhere to the same road rules in the Northern Territory (NT) as other road users.

There are also specific road rules for motorcycle riders in the NT.

If you don't follow these rules, you may face traffic offences and penalties.

General rules for motorcycle riders

You and any pillion or sidecar passenger must each wear a correctly fitted, securely fastened and approved helmet.

There must be an approved seat and adequate/secure footrests for any pillion passenger.

You and any pillion passenger must sit astride the seat and face forwards.

Any pillion passenger must have their feet on the footrests.

Only one pillion passenger can be on a motorcycle.

Any pillion passenger must be eight years of age or older.

You must have at least one hand on the handlebars.

You must keep both feet on the footrests except when stopping or moving off.

If the lane is wide enough in certain circumstances you can share a lane with another vehicle.

You may ride side-by-side with another rider within a marked lane, provided you are not more than 1.5m apart.

You must not ride more than two abreast within one lane.

You can only lane filter through traffic travelling 30km/h or less and when it is safe to do so.

You must not overtake vehicles by:

  • lane splitting - moving past stationary or moving traffic at an unsafe speed of more than 30km/h.
  • edge filtering - changing direction to move towards the edge, kerb or shoulder of the road to either:
    • pass one or more vehicles on the road
    • pass between two vehicles, one of which is parked.

Special rules for learner motorcycle riders

Blood or breath alcohol concentration

You must have a zero blood or breath alcohol concentration when you are learning to ride, regardless of the type of licence you hold.

Display an L-plate

You must clearly show a yellow L plate on the rear of the motorcycle you are riding or on the back of a vest worn while riding. The plate must not be hidden or covered.

Motorcycles

If you have a class R (r) learner licence you must only ride learner approved motorcycles (LAMS).

Speed

You must not exceed 80km/h when riding with an R (r) learner licence.

Passengers

You are not permitted to carry any pillion passenger on your motorcycle when you are learning to ride.

Licence

You must carry your learner licence with you at all times when you are riding.

Rules for provisional and restricted motorcycle licence holders

Conditions for restricted licence holders Class R (r)

You must:

  • carry your licence at all times when riding
  • and ride only learner-approved motorcycles.

Blood or breath alcohol concentration

Your blood or breath alcohol concentration must be less than 0.05% BAC.

Passengers

Before you carry a pillion passenger you must have held your motorcycle licence for the class of motorcycle you are riding for at least 12 months.

Rules for provisional motorcycle licence holders

Blood or breath alcohol concentration

Your blood or breath alcohol concentration must be zero.

Display a P plate

If you hold a provisional licence, you must clearly show a P plate on the rear of the motorcycle you are riding or on the back of a vest worn while riding. The plate must not be hidden or covered.

Passengers

Before you carry a pillion passenger you must have held your motorcycle licence, for the class of motorcycle you are riding for at least 12 months.

Speed

You must not exceed 100km/h when riding with a Provisional class R (r) licence.

Motorcycles

If you have a class R (r) provisional licence you must only ride learner-approved motorcycles (LAMS).

Licence

You must carry your licence with you at all times when riding.

Demerit points

If you hold a provisional licence and get four or more demerit points in a continuous 12 month period, you will be sent a notice requiring you to choose between a period of suspension or a 12 month good driving behaviour period.

Rules for open motorcycle licence holders

Blood or breath alcohol concentration

Your blood or breath alcohol concentration must be less than 0.05% BAC.

Passengers

Before you carry a pillion passenger you must have held your motorcycle licence, for the class of motorcycle you are riding for at least 12 months.

Demerit points

If you hold an open licence and get 12 or more demerit points in a three year period, you will be sent a notice requiring you to choose between a period of suspension or a 12 month good driving behaviour period.

Lane filtering

If you hold an unrestricted, full or open motorcycle licence, you can safely lane filter between stationary or slow moving traffic moving in the same direction of travel.

You can only do this if your speed is not over 30km/h and it is safe to do so.

For more information, go to the Towards Zero Road Safety NT website.

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Last updated: 01 August 2019

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