Death on Tugun bypass

THE Tugun bypass has claimed its first victim less than three weeks after the seven-kilometre stretch of road was opened to the public.

A 34-year-old motorcyclist from Willowvale was killed yesterday when he was allegedly struck by a car at Currumbin about 5am.

The bike and the car were both travelling south when the crash occurred about 400m south of Stewart Road, where the bypass meets the Pacific Motorway at Currumbin.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by Queensland police.

Both southbound lanes to the bypass were closed to traffic for more than two hours before one lane was reopened by police.

In the meantime, the peak-hour traffic was diverted through Currumbin and Tugun. It was about 8.30am before both lanes were reinstated and traffic was flowing freely.

A Gold Coast police spokeswoman could provide no further information late yesterday on the fatal crash involving the car and the motorcyclist.

The death was the fourth of its kind in two days in south-east Queensland after three other motorcyclists were killed in road traffic crashes at Brisbane, Mt Glorious and Yatala on Sunday.

The deaths prompted Queensland Transport Minister John Mickel to announce yesterday that new laws, to be introduced on July 1, will see novice motorcycle riders restricted to bikes of less than 250cc for one year.

From next Tuesday, all newly licensed motorcycle riders will be required to complete a minimum of 12 months on an RE class, or restricted motorcycle licence, before being able to progress to an R, or unrestricted motorcycle licence.

This was designed to give the new riders on-road experience on a lower-powered machine before graduating to a more powerful bike, the minister said.

"This is a fundamental change because what it means is that new licence-holders will only be allowed to ride a bike up to 250cc," Mr Mickel said.

"They will no longer be able to get on a very powerful bike.

"What we have found is that novice riders are most at risk and that's what the campaign is designed to protect."

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