MRASA The Motorcycle Riders Association of South Australia
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Australian Road Rule 271 - Riding on Motor Bikes
  Australian Road Rule 271 (April 2015) is shown below. This rule is sometimes referenced as motorcycle control. In summary, the rule requires the rider of a motorcycle that is moving or stationary but not parked has to sit astride their seat facing forwards and ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. When the motorcycle is moving the rider has to keep both feet on the footrests. These rules cause practical difficulties for motorcycle riders.
  Australian Road Rules - Reg 271
(1) The rider of a motor bike that is moving (other than a rider who is walking beside and pushing a motor bike), or the rider of a motor bike that is stationary but not parked, must

(a) sit astride the rider's seat facing forwards; and
(b) if the motor bike is moving - keep at least 1 hand on the handlebars; and
(c) if the motor bike is moving - keep both feet on the footrests designed for use by the rider of the motor bike, unless the motor bike is moving at less than 10 kilometres per hour and either -
    (i) the rider is manoeuvring the motor bike in order to park the motor bike; or
    (ii) the motor bike is decelerating to come to a stop; or
    (iii) the motor bike is accelerating from being stopped.


  Update - April 2015

NSW has repealed section (c).

The AMC did a national push late in 2014. As a result, Qld and NT amended their wording.
Here is a link to the Queensland Government's Department of Transport and Main Roads publication on 1 Feb 2015 which includes notification on the change to QLD laws on Road Rule 271.

In late August 2014 South Australia changed a number of road rules, this was at the time they reduced the speed for trucks on the SE Freeway. The rule now reads (in part):

Rule 271: A motorbike rider can remove their feet from the footrests to manoeuvre the bike, such as reversing it into a parking space or when the bike is below 10kph and decelerating, or accelerating from a rest.

  Update - 13 August 2015

The National Transport Commission has released the Australian Road Rules 11th Amendment Package for approval by the Transport and Infrastructure Council. Stages include:
- public consultation from 5th August to 3rd September 2015.
- TISOC consideration on 18 September 2015 (and if endorsed)
- consideration by the Transport and Infrastructure Council on 6 November 2015.

The package contains an update to ARR271, proposing it to read as below. THIS IS NOT CURRENT REGULATION. It is a draft for the Australian Road Rules to assist in having the same road rules all around Australia. Each state will then have to amend their state Road Rules to bring in the changes.
  Proposed ARR 271
(1) The rider of a motor bike that is moving (other than a rider who is walking beside and pushing a motor bike), or the rider of a motor bike that is stationary but not parked, must

(a) sit astride the rider's seat facing forwards; and
(b) if the motor bike is moving - keep at least 1 hand on the handlebars.

(1A) Also, the rider of a motor bike that is moving may -

(a) stand on the motor bike's footrests or footboard designed for the rider's use if -
    (i) the rider has both feet on the footrests or footboard; and
    (ii) in the circumstances, it is safe for the rider to do so; or
(b) remove a foot from the footrest or footboard designed for the rider's use if -
    (i) the rider is sitting on the riders seat; and
    (ii) at least 1 foot is on a footrest or footboard; and
    (iii) in the circumstances, it is safe for the rider to do so.


  MRASA Comments - Phil McClelland, February 2015

The authors of this Road Rule (and SA amendments) could not be motorcycle riders, as riders would know that this Road Rule would be broken on a regular basis to safely ride.

Not wanting to ask everyone to attend rider training, let me explain a couple of simple things about riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles react to the rider's body movement. Picture a racer leaning over to assist his motorcycle to corner at speed. The need to be balanced at all times and the high level of concentration required come at a price. Riders get stiff and even suffer leg cramps. The instinctive response to a leg cramp is to stretch the leg by taking your foot off the footrest . Riding on a loose or slippery surface can reduce a motorcycle rider's control. Skating a foot can significantly increase the safety margin.

Transferring some or all of your body weight to the footrests lowers the center of balance and increases stability. This also allows your legs to buffer the impact and reaction from riding over potholes, cover plates and rough surfaces. A good rider doesn't think about doing this, they automatically do it. It is done to increase their control of the motorcycle.

A rider's control of a motorcycle is directly related to a riders safety.
RR271 Section (a) & (c) make common practice methods to increase a rider's control of the motorcycle an offence. Riders must be allowed to lift their bottom up off the motorcycle seat regardless of the road speed. Riders must be allowed to take their feet of the footrests regardless of the road speed.

  MRASA Recommendation

Road Rule 271 (a) must be amended to allow the rider to stand on the footrests.
Road Rule 271 (c) must be removed in its entirety.

  Reforms Announced - 8 December 2016

On 8 December the SA Government gazetted changes to road rule 271. The changes will allow a rider to legally stand on the footrests, or take one foot off a footrest while riding. Note that while legal, the law also states it can only be done when 'it is safe for the rider to do so'.

Like other recent changes to the law, this has been a long while coming. The AMC has been lobbying at a national level for years. Other groups include Ulysses and state based motorcycling entities such as MRASA. Recent efforts from groups such as R2R is welcomed, all motorcyclists need to act together with a unified voice to help get our message to the Government.

It is hard to single out individuals, but we should recognise the efforts of Neville Gray, Guy Stanford and Philip McClelland for their tireless work.

See page 4925 of the Government Gazette.

Here is a screen shot of the relevant section of the gazette

GovGaz ARR271





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