A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
It cannot be right that anyone can take to the road without first having passed the theory test whether riding a motorcycle or driving. Everyone should understand the rules of the road before interacting with traffic. Hence our recommendation that the theory test be taken as part of the schools’ curriculum. How can it be safe for anyone be allowed to use the road without knowing when to give way, or when to stop? Pedestrians too would benefit from understanding the rules followed by other road users.
This action follows actions 2 & 3 where we are calling for a single multi-mode theory test as opposed to a mode specific one and the amendment of the hazard perception test to include specific collision causes.
Over the past few years there has been talk about improving Compulsory Basic Training. The Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA) was involved in these discussions. One suggestion made by some members was that the theory test should be taken by all road users before any training, eliminating the need to check knowledge, freeing up more time for machine control.
The majority of MCITA members who answered questions about theory tests prior to learning said that less than 5% of customers have a theory test prior to taking their CBT. This demonstrates that many riders, some of which will have not used a road as a vehicle user previously, will not have studied theory to the level required prior to using the roads as a licence holder. It would be beneficial for all road users if those who are learning to use the road prove that they have the necessary knowledge in theory and hazard perception, prior to taking to the road as a learner.
It is unclear how many learner car drivers begin the process of learning having already taken a theory test. In a meeting with the DVSA, they indicated that many learner car drivers have a theory test prior to starting their journey. Anecdotally however, we hear many instances where the training is well underway prior to the theory test being passed.
A valid theory test certificate should be submitted with all provisional licence applications. To facilitate this the age at which a theory test can be taken would need to be changed to 15 years 9 months to enable 16 year olds to ride a moped on their 16th Birthday if they wish.
- Monitor the progress of actions 2 & 3 to ensure that work on this proceeds at the appropriate time
- Identify necessary legislative changes to allow the theory test to be taken at 15 years and 9 months to allow for moped use on a person’s 16th birthday
- Liaise with DVSA to determine the process to be followed as consultation/ legislation changes may be needed.
UPDATE – Action4 – Change the Process so That Candidates Must Pass the Theory and Hazard Perception Tests Before They Acquire a Provisional Licence
There is currently no progress regarding this action.