The following section is applicable only to drivers of motorcycles, since it is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act to carry passengers on mopeds.
It is illegal for Level One (M1) drivers to carry passengers. Even with a Level Two (M2) licence, you should avoid carrying passengers or large loads until you are an experienced driver.
Before carrying a passenger, make certain your motorcycle is equipped to carry passengers. Your motorcycle seat must be large enough to hold both you and your passenger without crowding. The motorcycle must also have footrests for your passenger. Without a firm footing, your passenger can fall off and pull you off too. Your passenger must also wear an approved helmet and protective clothing.
Adjust the mirrors and headlight to the change in the motorcycle’s angle due to the extra weight. Have the passenger sit on the seat while you make the adjustments. If you carry a passenger, it is a good idea to add additional air pressure to the tires (check your owner’s manual). If the suspension units are adjustable, they should also be adjusted to carry the added weight.
When carrying a passenger on a motorcycle, remember that your motorcycle will respond more slowly because of the extra weight. It takes longer to speed up, slow down or make a turn: the heavier the passenger, the slower the response. To adjust for the added weight you should do the following:
- Drive at a lower speed, particularly on corners, curves and bumps.
- Begin to slow down earlier than usual when you approach a stop.
- Allow a greater following distance and keep more distance between you and vehicles to either side. Look for larger gaps when you cross, enter or merge with traffic.
Instruct your passenger before you start to drive. Do not assume your passenger knows what to do, even if he or she is a motorcycle driver. Warn your passenger when you are about to start moving, stop quickly, turn sharply or drive over a bump. Provide complete instructions before you start. You should tell your passenger to:
- Get on the motorcycle after the engine has started.
- Sit as far forward as possible without crowding you.
- Hold tightly to your waist or hips.
- Keep both feet on the footrests at all times, even when the motorcycle is stopped.
- Lean with the motorcycle.
- Avoid unnecessary motions or talk.