Motorcycle manoeuvre to remain off-road

12.00 | 4 July 2013 | | 3 comments

Following a review of motorcycle testing which concluded that the current off-road manoeuvre test is ‘safer and cheaper’, the Government has announced that it will not be combining the off and on road elements of the test.

Currently, the motorcycle test is conducted in two parts: the first involves demonstrating specific manoeuvres off-road, and the second is on-road.

The Motorcycle Test Review looked at the feasibility of moving the off-road part of the test onto the road and concluded that this would increase injuries and costs.

Research carried out for the review showed that an on-road manoeuvres test would lead to 17 times the number of serious incidents per year – especially as a result of the higher speed exercises. The research also showed it would increase the duration of the test which would result in higher costs for both candidates and the DSA.

Stephen Hammond, road safety minister, said: “Motorcyclists are disproportionately represented in casualty statistics – they make up just 1% of road users but 19% of all road accidents – so it is especially important that new riders coming onto the roads have the right training behind them so they can ride safely and confidently.

“The Motorcycle Test Review explored whether the whole of the practical motorcycle test could be carried out on the road without jeopardising rider safety or test standards and without increasing costs. The research clearly shows that such a move would increase incidents and cost more money."

Since the review started, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has introduced changes to make the test more accessible by opening additional test centres and setting up an online booking service for trainers.

The research findings have been published on the DfT website.


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    i think the four part test is absolutely necessary, CBT, theory, mod1 and mod2, being a learner myself. In actual fact I think the Mod 2 should not be allowed to be taken till a minimum of three months at least have passed from Mod 1 just to gain more road experience. I’m also a qualified car driver and now realise just how much more a motorcyclist needs to be alert and very aware of the safety issues that surround him on the road.

    w waterman london
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    The terms of reference given to the TRL when they were tasked to do this review (along with half a million quid of taxpayers money) made it impossible for them to come to any conclusion other than to retain the current test system. This was because they had to see if it was possible to perform the various manouvres in the off-road part of current test only out on the road. Even the most dim-witted of people could tell at a glance that this would be impossible due to the enormous variation in road and traffic conditions around the country.

    However, our friends over in Ireland manage to do the test on the road without any problems at all, but this is due to them completely ignoring the original 3DLD which as we found to our horror cost many tens of millions of pounds to implement.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    DfT performs a perfect U turn and are awarded full marks by DSA examiners. Have we really ended up with a fair testing regime for the motorcyclist? I doubt it!

    Gareth, Surrey
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