A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
Industry, Police and Highways England are concerned by the apparent drop-off in people taking the motorcycle test. Action is needed to help address this. There are approximately 195,000 CBT certificates sold annually and around 45,000 riders take a motorcycle test each year. We will work to highlight the importance of the motorcycle test to riders of 125cc machines and below.
This action is linked to Action 19 Safety Messaging – Creating Awareness of Motorcycling.
There is a rising concern that younger novice riders in particular are no longer presenting themselves for the motorcycle test. The reasons for this may be complex, but there is a concern that under the recently implemented Third Driving Licence Directive, there are no longer any incentives for the 17-19 year old age group to take the A1 test.
This is because there is little apparent benefit to be gained from obtaining a full licence that only qualifies a rider to carry on riding as they have been as a learner – still restricted to 125cc, but no longer needing ‘L’ plates. Motorways can be accessed, but these are not roads which are attractive to or commonly used by 125cc riders. Therefore, why would a novice rider wish to go to the expense of training to test standard, then take a test that gives them almost nothing?
It should be borne in mind that although this ‘permanent learner’ syndrome is by no means welcome, those staying at novice rider status are still required to be trained every two years and there is no indication that safety concerns are arising from this situation. Lack of experience is still a major risk factor and many riders have repeated CBT several times over and consequently gained a lot of riding experience. However, it remains a high priority for industry, police and Highways England that all novice riders seek to improve skills and take their test. It is unfortunate that the EU Licence Directive works against this key principle for the 17-19 year age group.
Other actions within this Framework seek to introduce incentives to take the test via progressive access, plus suggest developments in what the test offers. But to complement this we propose that elements of media campaigning and rider awareness focus on the direct road safety benefit to novice riders who train to test standard.
MCITA members have highlighted that for many of those that repeat CBT the requirement to take a test is too challenging. Many suffer badly from test nerves and a high percentage of these returnees are perhaps from disadvantaged backgrounds or have had a below average level of education. To these people their motorcycles and scooters are essential to allow them mobility and access to employment.
- Linking with Action 19 Safety Messaging – Creating Awareness of Motorcycling, ensure that riders understand the safety benefits of training to test standard
- Consider ways in which the licencing regime could offer benefits to riders taking an A1 test (access to 250cc motorcycle for example)
- Develop progressive access via 7 hour training (Action 14) as this can remove barriers for riders who may want to progress to a bigger bike eventually and add value to taking the A1 test
- Develop a ‘repeat CBT’ (Action 12) which contains more in depth riding skills and will raise the standard of riding of those on a provisional licence as well as moving them closer to test standard which in itself may be an incentive to take the test
UPDATE – Action 13 – Encourage More Riders to Take a Motorcycle Test
Whilst little progress has been made on this action. DVSA views seem to be mostly in accord with the MSTP framework on this topic which is a positive step. Brexit will allow some flexibility within the licensing regime to make passing a motorcycle test more attractive and we hope to develop this further with DVSA after the UK leaves the European Union.