The government intends to make it more difficult to drive mopeds and scooters aged 16 and over by introducing a new theory of testing.
The Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) system has been in place – and unchanged – since 1990 and only requires a new pilot to show that he can master simple skills – without having to take any tests – before being cleared to take the road.
But Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman said on Tuesday that had to change with the introduction of a theory test and stricter penalties for those who accumulate penalty points by driving with L-plates attached to their vehicles. mopeds.
CBT changes on foot: if you are 16, you can ride a moped on L-plates after completing compulsory basic training which does not include any testing. However, that is expected to change next year with a theory test offered so new riders are allowed on the road.
16-year-old motorcyclists who have completed their TCC can ride a moped while displaying L-plates, while anyone 17 years of age or older can legally drive a machine up to 125cc with a maximum power of 15 horsepower, but again must show learning plates.
Any rider who does not pass their full motorcycle exam within 48 months must retake the CBT, although motorists who passed their driving exam before February 1, 2001 ride up to 50cc without having to take the training session.
For the past 27 years, there has been no testing requirement under this basic requirement to gain road access, meaning less experienced riders can be let go on some of the more popular routes. busiest in the country without having to display a full knowledge of the rules of the road.
However, Mr Norman wants this to change as part of a motorcycle training overhaul.
Following a public consultation including motorcyclists, new rules are expected to be introduced towards the end of next year which will impose a theoretical testing system under the CBT.
And to ensure that offending riders are not allowed to continue breaking the rules, provisional license holders will be banned from driving and will have to undergo additional training if they accumulate 6 penalty points.
The changes are part of the government’s desperate plans to reduce the number of road fatalities in the UK after statistics showed a 4% increase last year.
Of the 1,792 deaths, 319 were motorcyclists – more than a third of which were between 16 and 24 years old.
A consultation conducted by DfT and DVSA found that there was substantial support for improvements in CBT and those delivering the training courses
Although the overall death toll is at its highest level in five years with an increase in deaths from cars, pedestrians, cyclists and others, the number of motorcyclists killed fell 13% year-on-year.
That said, the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) contained 5,553 reports of seriously injured motorcyclists last year, one in six being mopeds or scooters.
In a statement this week, Norman said: âWe have one of the best road safety records in the world, but we are determined to do more to prevent fatalities and serious injuries.
âMotorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and have the highest fatality rate of any group. This is why I am pleased to announce these changes to motorcycle training.
“These improvements should equip learners with a wider range of experiences and better driving skills, helping to make our roads safer for everyone.”
Motorcyclist fatalities on the road fell 13% in 2016, but a third of those killed were young riders aged 16 to 24.
A survey of 2,200 respondents found tremendous support for riders to learn more about protective clothing and riding skills as part of mandatory basic training
Mark Winn, Head of Cycling and Professional Policy at DVSA, added: âOur priority is to help cyclists go through a lifetime of safe riding.
âIn 2016, more than a third of moped and motorcycle victims were between 16 and 24 years old.
âWe want to reduce the risk they face by introducing more realistic and personalized training, delivered by better qualified instructors.
âMaking these training improvements will help ensure that motorcyclists have the skills and knowledge they need to help them stay safe on our modern and busy roads. “
Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman (pictured) said the new measures would be introduced as motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users.
The DVSA has partnered with the Department of Transport (DfT) to assess the opinions of 2,200 respondents on nine proposed changes to improve road safety for new riders.
About 85% of those surveyed agreed that new drivers should take a knowledge test before taking a CBT course, while the same percentage said they wanted CBT certificates revoked by provisional license holders for reckless or dangerous driving offenses.
People were also broadly in favor of introducing training courses for existing motorcyclists, limiting drivers to only riding automatic scooters if they completed their CBT on one or more protective clothing and riding skills training. as part of basic training.
There was also overwhelming support for more DVSA checks on motorcycle training schools and instructor qualifications.
The DVSA has confirmed that some of the proposals will require further consultation in spring 2018 before a decision is made on their implementation.
Driving Instructors Association (DIA) chief examiner Mark Jaffe welcomed the new idea and said the DIA had been pushing for improved rider training standards “for a number of years”.
Making these training improvements will help ensure that motorcyclists have the skills and knowledge they need to help them stay safe on our modern and busy roads.
Mark Winn, Head of Cycling and Professional Policy at the DVSA
“The results of the consultation show support for the changes that we believe are long overdue,” he said.
“The changes will increase the importance of riders receiving the correct training for the machines they are riding and reduce the number of casualties through better and more targeted training.”
Others also welcomed the proposals, but stressed that mopeds and scooters should always be accessible to new drivers as they are an affordable mode of transportation for many.
Karen Cole, Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) Director of Safety and Training, said, âWe welcome the publication of responses to the consultation on Modernizing Motorcycle Education and look forward to working with the Motorcycle Industry Association. DVSA to significantly improve the safety of bikers in the future.
“It is important, however, that motorized two-wheelers remain accessible, as they are the only affordable form of transportation for many people and an increasingly important part of our transportation mix as commuters seek solutions to creeping traffic jams. . “
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