OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to determine the prevalence of unlicensed riding and motorcycle borrowing among young motorcyclists, and to document their perceptions of how they would be affected if the minimum age of licensure were raised. METHODS: Motorcycling was investigated as part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a broad longitudinal study of the health, development, attitudes, and behaviours of a birth cohort. Young motorcyclists, who had ridden on-road during the year before their interview at age 18 years, completed a computer administered questionnaire containing questions about licensure, riding frequency, and motorcycle borrowing. RESULTS: Of the 217 motorcyclists identified, 36% were licensed, 54% had ridden once a month or less frequently, and 72% had usually ridden a borrowed motorcycle during the one year recall period. Significantly more licensed than unlicensed riders and owners than borrowers reported higher exposure and significantly more licensed than unlicensed riders were owners. Most licensed riders (86%) had ridden on public roads before licensure, and many (54%) thought that they would have been much affected by a higher minimum age of licensure. CONCLUSIONS: More stringent enforcement of existing licensing regulations, tougher penalties for breaching graduated driver licensing restrictions, raising the minimum age for motorcycle licensure, and prohibiting the sale or lending of motorcycles to unlicensed riders are possible injury prevention strategies.
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