Government consults on motorcycle training

12.00 | 10 March 2015 | | 7 comments

The DfT and DVSA have today (10 March) launched a consultation on plans to improve motorcycle training and in particular compulsory basic training (CBT).

All new learner motorcycle and moped riders must take CBT, which was first introduced in 1990 and has changed little since then.

The plans under consideration include the structure and content of CBT courses, the qualification process for instructors and standards checks for instructors, which assess their ability to teach pupils.

Claire Perry, transport minister said: “Motorcyclists account for one in every five deaths on our roads, despite representing just 1% of all traffic.

“This is a shocking statistic – even more so when you consider that 19% of all reported motorcycle casualties involved riders aged 19yrs and under.

“We must do all we can to improve road safety and I hope our proposals to change the training will do that.”

Last year the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and DfT commissioned research into the views of trainers and learner riders on the current CBT, and how any changes would affect new riders.

The research helped shape the proposals now out for consultation which have been developed with a range of motorcycle organisations and the training industry.

The consultation runs until 21 April 2015.



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    Mentoring has been on my mind for many years but what it does away with is the fabric of commercial training and that’s something governments have aspired to for the last 30 years. Paid trainers, like Kevin make a living out of it, qualified and therefore paid by the pupil. No one can teach a young rider and get paid for it. But the IAM and Rospa seem to do very well out of a few evening rides before a candidate becomes a so called Advanced rider.

    On the continent Motorcycle Club members, volunteers or mentors take out inexperienced motorcyclists who benefit from their knowledge and all of them sing from the same publication. It seems to work there but as I have said we went away from voluntary assistance many years ago.

    Bob Craven Lancs…Space is Safe Campaigner
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Kevin’s idea of a mentoring scheme for riders that have just passed their test/CBT is most excellent. This is a key element of the learning process that has been largely overlooked, but which can bring enormous benefits. Just a ride out down some nice roads to a cafe somewhere gives the mentor an opportunity to swap tips with the new riders without them thinking they are being trained in any way. If done right the youngsters will view the mentors as less a master-student relationship and more as a peer-to-peer one. I have found that new riders want to learn, but they are less inclined to want to be trained so a well thought out mentoring scheme fits well with this mindset.

    As a note of caution, the mentors can’t look like instructors or ride bikes that are wildly different to the ones the youngsters are riding.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The CBT is generally very inadequate for preparing young riders for the road, which isn’t helped by the differing standards of the ATBs, which should be monitored more closely by the DSA, maybe with a ‘mystery shopper’ type process. A few hours prep and two hours on the road is not enough for a 16 year old to go off on the road on their own; the standards should be more stringent. And why can a young moped rider get on the road without completing the theory test, it is not logical and not safe.

    In Staffordshire we attempted to introduce a ‘CBT Extra’ scheme, where young riders attended a two-hour classroom-based workshop and in exchange they received 6 hours free training; the workshop and training linked together working on the main areas where motorcyclists were becoming a casualty and provided young riders with the opportunity to receive further training and experience with a trainer.

    The scheme failed because the local trainers failed to fully support it which was very disappointing, especially to the ATBs which did. It would be nice if local ATBs were safety minded as well as finance driven and supported the road safety initiatives which benefit their clients; it can’t be nice to hear that one of your clients has become a casualty on our roads.

    We have many new initiatives designed to reduce young rider casualties in April/May including organised ‘Training’ ride-outs for young riders; sometimes these young riders need to be taken under the wing of a more experienced rider rather than just tearing around the streets with no aim.

    Kevin Wilcox, Staffordshire SRP
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The biggest thing that needs to change is this directive 3 farce. Youngsters should be encouraged to take further instruction and training. Directive three totally discourages this due to the DVSA stance that after two years a test should be retaken rather than training to upgrade.

    Chris White. Rainham kent
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Have not as yet read the full report but am getting through it. For the moment all I want to say is that first I agree that further intervention measures are needed to reduce the numbers of incidents involving all two wheeled motorised vehicles. Just what they are has yet to be determined.

    What I will say is that the CBT was never designed to be what we now imagine it to be. It was only designed to get a non rider on a bike and instruct them on the use of its controls. Acceleration, gears (if any), brakes, balance, starting and stopping and turning corners, slow control etc, followed by a couple of hours on the streets for the instructor to consider that they would be in control sufficiently to carry on by themselves. They would probably receive some verbal advice if seen to be doing things wrong and sometimes things to look out for but very basic things. It was never designed to be any more than that.

    Now I believe that we are at last understanding that there is a greater need and that does need addressing….and about time too. The other point is, I have not yet seen evidence within the consultative document that it is learners with L plates on that create all of these statistics. Will put my two penneth in to the consultation when I have fully digested this paper.

    Bob Craven Lancs Space is Safe Campaigner
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The Minister’s confession that it is “shocking” reinforces the lack of understanding there is of accident causation at that level. But here we have politspeak in a “consultation on plans”. Something needs to improve, certainly. What’s the odds it will be the wrong thing, and no improvement transpires. Will further legislation occur? The ministerial view might just consider that 1% suffering the highest casualty rate is worthy of attention other than training to the sufficient degree. On two wheels one has greater visibility than one on four wheels. Where might that extra training be best aimed?

    Derek Reynolds, Salop.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    In the recent review carried out for the Government on the CBT, one quote from a student encapsulated everything that is wrong about the CBT and the simple thing that could be done to fix it. The student said “Just need more training and just more knowledge of how incidents can develop and how to avoid them.”

    The CBT is woefully deficient in providing this crucial knowledge and yet it is essential to minimising the number of post-CBT crashes. The CBT should do two things, it should teach people how to ride and then it should teach people how to ride without crashing. At the moment it only covers the first of these two and it really needs to cover the second as well.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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