Motorcycling can be fun, economical and safe but never risk free. Riders are among our most vulnerable road users.

Research shows that the risk of a motorcyclist being killed or seriously injured in a crash is at least 18 times higher than for a car driver. Motorcyclists represent 10% of all fatalities and 13% of serious injuries on Territory roads.

Male riders aged 15-24 years and 50-64 years are over-represented in crash statistics, with the crashes generally occurring in urban areas. When involved in a crash, 60% of motorcycle riders are responsible for their own injury.

All riders are vulnerable to injury in a crash, and the right protective gear could make the difference between a nasty fall or a serious injury or death.

For more information on motorcyclists including road rules and penalties, visit the Northern Territory Government website.

All-terrain vehicles

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), including quad bikes and off-road buggy vehicles, have grown in popularity for use in rural work situations and recreational riding. Despite the perceived versatility of these vehicles, there are a number of significant risk factors including their heightened risk of roll over and lack of protective equipment worn when riding, such as helmets.

From 2009 to 2018, seven people have died and 46 have been seriously injured riding these vehicles on our roads or public spaces.

The NT Government has recently developed the Ride Safe campaign which aims to raise awareness and educate the general public, workplaces and special interest groups about the safe and appropriate use of these vehicles, including the NT rules and regulations that apply to their use.

Unlike motorcycles, quad bikes and off-road buggies are not manufactured for road use and do not meet national vehicle safety standards for road vehicles. As such, these vehicles cannot be registered for road use and their use on roads is an offence under the Northern Territory Traffic Act.

For more information on ATV safety, including the Ride Safe campaign, visit the All-Terrain Vehicles page.

Current initiatives

  • developed curriculum for safe rider training courses by external providers
  • delivery of the Motorcyclist Education Training and Licensing (METAL) program
  • supporting Rider Awareness Northern Territory (RANT) in community rider safety initiatives
  • developed a Northern Territory Motorcycle Rider handbook
  • developed Good Gear Guides
  • partnering in the development of a national computerised car and motorcycle hazard perception test
  • targeted enforcement campaigns
  • motorcycle safety videos (visit the Resources page).

What you can do

There are several important ways motorcyclists can safely share the road with other vehicles:

  • be safe - scan regularly without focusing on any one spot too long and keep a safe distance from other vehicles
  • be seen – don’t assume other drivers or riders can see you
  • always wear an approved helmet and protective gear when riding.

Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions

ActionsYearLeadSupport Safe System
9.1 Introduce lane filtering and undertake an awareness campaign. 1-2 DIPL RANT/Police Safe road use
9.2 Develop a standalone Graduated Licensing System for motorcyclists (including mopeds and scooters), which considers mandating rider training, for consideration by Government. 1-2 DIPL   Safe road use
Safe vehicles
9.3 Implement a motorcycle safety community awareness campaign aligned with Police enforcement. 2-3 DIPL MACC/Police Safe road use
9.4 Develop and implement an awareness campaign for the safe use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and off road buggy vehicles. 1-3 DIPL Police Safe road use
9.5 Encourage widespread use of protective motorcycle clothing. 3-5 DIPL RANT/Police Safe road use


Related links