Current motorcycle licensing regime remains ‘not fit for purpose’

12.59 | 26 March 2024 |

The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) has updated its position on motorcycle licensing, testing and training – reiterating its call for the Government to undertake a ‘fundamental review of the current regime’.

In 2022, the NMC published ‘A Fresh Approach to The Motorcycle Licence’, based on the following principle: to make the licensing regime easier to understand and access, while maintaining appropriate road safety standards in training.

Two years on, the NMC has published a second edition of the document, taking into account developments in the issue and work across the motorcycling sector since 2022.

This includes the NMC’s dialogue with government officials and ministers, outcomes of which include the welcome announcement of the DVSA/DfT Strategic Motorcycle Group early in 2023.

The NMC says it does not propose a dilution of standards, but the creation of a system which is more understandable, with less cost, bureaucracy and repetition – while maintaining the UK’s high training standards. 

It adds that the current licensing regime is not fit for purpose – pointing to the fact that rider deaths have risen since it was introduced between 2009 and 2013.

Craig Carey-Clinch, NMC executive director, said: “With very mixed results from the current licensing regime, which sadly includes no improvement in rider fatalities, it is clear that a fundamental review is needed. 

“This is not about ripping everything up and starting again, but learning from what works and what doesn’t work, to create an evolved system that is fit for purpose and much easier for novice riders to understand and access.

“A full-scale review through the Strategic Motorcycle Group will allow the opportunity for proposals from the NMC, industry, trainers and other expert stakeholders to be considered and a fresh way forward determined. In that sense, the NMC’s proposals represent a starting place for wider and more proactive dialogue.

“With motorcycle safety such a high priority, we urge ministers to give the group the tools it needs to develop a motorcycle licensing regime that improves safety, rewards progress and is more accessible – also taking account of future changes in technology and rider needs as motorcycling and training practice continues to evolve.”



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