Background The authors were commissioned to develop education curricula for a new motorcyclist graduated licensing system in Victoria, Australia. A review of published literature identified several promising models internationally, but no single best-practice framework. The objective of this research was to determine whether a best-practice framework implemented for new drivers, the Finnish Goals for Driver Education (GDE; Keskinen, 1996), could be adapted and applied for new motorcyclists. The model comprises four levels: basic, tactical, strategic and general.
Methods An adapted framework was drafted by replacing driver-specific content to motorcyclist-equivalent content where applicable (e.g. seatbelts to helmets). Curriculum materials were drafted using the framework as a guide, focusing on the five most frequent novice motorcyclist crash types in Victoria and particularly enhancing the roadcraft content of the tactical and strategic levels. Train-the-trainer pilots were offered to experienced motorcycle trainers with one medium-sized provider in Victoria, and the option to undertake the pilot programs offered to their learner permit and licence candidates on selected weeks in March to October 2015. Student pilots were conducted to saturation, that is, until no new feedback was obtained. University Ethics approval was obtained.
Results In total, 10 trainers and 53 students took part in the pilots. Saturation was achieved in 6 pilots each for pre-learner course, and combined learner and licence course components. Feedback from participants showed strong support for the curriculum and suggested that all levels of the model had been addressed.
Conclusions The results suggested that the GDE model had been readily adapted into a promising framework for improving novice motorcyclist education. The Victorian Government has commenced plans to conduct a pre-post outcome evaluation of the new curriculum, which is due to commence rollout across the state in March 2016.
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