“I have a Scooter which is a 150 cc , and I want to know if I can carry my 3 year old daughter with not problem with the law or police in Joburg. The play school is just 15 minutes walking and 5 minutes  in the motorbike, by the time we arrive to the playschool she is already tired.

I appreciate all the information you can provide me. I have no car at the moment and I need to use my motorbike to get on move.”


You may only carry your daughter legally as a pillion passenger on your scooter if her feet can reach the footrests fitted for the pillion passenger. This is a very sensible requirement as it provides stability for the pillion passenger to prevent them sliding off the seat.

The National Road Traffic Regulations are quite clear with respect to carrying pillion passengers in saying that a single pillion passenger may be carried on a motorcycle provided that their feet rest on the footrests of that motor cycle. I am pretty sure that you could take your scooter to a motorcycle workshop and have a set of footrests fitted/adjusted so that your child can rest her feet on them whilst you are carrying her pillion if she cannot reach them at this stage.

You will only pick up problems if:

1. Her feet cannot rest properly on the footrests or
2. You do not hold a full code A motorcycle licence. A learner’s licence is not acceptable for carrying passengers or a full code A1 licence for your particular motorcycle is not acceptable.

I just wish to say that I have encountered a great many people who seem to be of the impression that they do not have to possess a full “code A” motorcycle in order to ride scooters. This belief is completely incorrect and whilst they may ride such scooter with a motorcycle learner’s licence they may not carry pillion passengers until they gain a full motorcycle licence. The classes of motorcycle licence in South Africa are as follows:

Code A1 – for motorcycles up to an engine capacity of 125cc,
Code A – for motorcycles of any engine capacity.

Unlike in some other countries, where people who possess a full light motor vehicle licence are deemed to have a learner’s licence for motorcycles, South Africa requires that motorcyclists possess at least a learner’s licence before they may ride a motorcycle.

The learner’s licence for a code A or code A1 is described as “code 1” on this learner’s licence and only distinguishes between the two by imposing a limitation if the learner is below the age of 18 years of age, as a person below the age of 18 years may not ride a motorcycle with an engine capacity above 125cc.

As a motorcyclist and former motorcycle trainer, I am of the belief that our motorcycle rider licensing laws are deficient since there is a massive difference between a 150cc commuter motorcycle and a 1300cc superbike and everything in between.

In my opinion, we should have three or more classifications of motorcycle licence and we should also require that all persons who ride motorcycles undergo at least basic road training under the supervision of a qualified instructor as is required in countries like the UK.

But unfortunately, this is not the case in South Africa and it is sad that all motorcyclists are allowed to teach themselves to ride in traffic – which is why many motorcyclists have a terrible reputation with other motorists and traffic cops alike. Next to taxis, some motorcyclists are amongst the most dangerous motorists on the road.

Regulation 309 deals with the duties of motorcyclists and I have included this below:


Howard Dembovsky

National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)

For Safety also view:

Motorbike Safety and Children as Pillion

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One thought on “May I transport my 3 year old on my 150cc Scooter?

  1. Gerhard Oosthuizen

    I was told that they are allowing a passenger for a motorcycle. I was told by a traffic officer that this is true. In this case it is 500cc motorcycle, driver is of age 52 and have a learner license. Can you please comment?

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