Motorcyclists back biggest training shake-up in 30 years: DVSA

12.52 | 19 December 2017 | | 3 comments

The DVSA says motorcyclists have given their backing to a ‘raft of improvements’, including new riders having to pass a theory test before they take a CBT course, following a public consultation on proposals to modernise motorcycle training.

A public consultation carried out by the DfT and DVSA on nine proposed changes received more than 2,200 responses from motorcyclists, representatives in the motorcycle industry and road safety groups.

The results of the consultation, which have been published today, reveal that of those who responded:

  • 92% support introducing a training course that existing riders can take to upgrade their motorcycle licence, rather than having to take extra tests.
  • 85% agree new riders should have to pass a theory test before they take a CBT course, or as part of their course.
  • 85% support revoking CBT certificates from riders who get six penalty points, which would stop them from riding with L plates after getting points for offences including careless or dangerous riding.
  • 84% agree with restricting riders who take their CBT course on an automatic motorcycle, to only riding an automatic machine.
  • 85% support restructuring the CBT course to focus on the importance of equipment and safety clothing, on-site training, motorcycling theory and on-road practical riding skills.

The DVSA also says there was ‘overwhelming support’ for its plans to improve the way motorcycle instructors are qualified and ‘quality assured’.

  • 97% of respondents support increasing the range of checks that DVSA carries out on motorcycle training schools.
  • 87% support improving the way that instructors qualify to provide motorcycle training.
  • 94% support introducing a system for motorcycle training schools to be given recognition for consistently high standards.

Jesse Norman, road safety minister, said: “These improvements should equip learners with a wider range of experience and better riding skills, helping to make our roads safer for everyone.”

Mark Winn, DVSA head of rider and vocational policy, added: “In 2016, over a third of moped and motorcyclist casualties were aged between 16 and 24 years.

“We want to reduce the risk they face by introducing more realistic and individually tailored training, provided by better qualified instructors.

“Making these improvements to training will help make sure motorcyclists have the skills and knowledge they need to help them stay safe on our busy, modern roads.”

Representatives from the rider training industry – including the Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSA GB), the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) – are also supportive of the changes.

John Lepine MBE, general manager of the MSA GB, said: “In particular we welcome the improved standards for motorcycle training schools and motorcycle instructors which recognises the importance of high quality training in delivering high quality road safety outcomes.”

Mark Jaffe, chief motorcycle examiner at the DIA, said: “The changes will increase the importance on riders getting the correct training for the machines they are riding and reduce the number of casualties through better and more focused training.”

DfT and DVSA plan to further consult in spring 2018 on details of how the changes will work.

Click here to access the full response to consultation report.



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    Being one of th 2000 odd contributors when this came out, it’s good to see that the information s being used to drive potential change. However my own real feelings are that the government is doing it’s favourite trick of focussing on the minority.

    Whilst I agree motorcyclists could do with all the training they can be provided with, I feel the same is true for ALL road users, from pedal cyclists to HGV drivers. Having commuted into London for a few years, the few ‘close calls’ I have had have been down to uncaring or uneducated car drivers and one cyclist (texting whilst trying to get his Boris bike go around a bend, a vehicle that is uninsured, with an untrained rider and provided by the governement for use on the roads!).

    I am one of those ‘aggressive’ advanced riders Bob talks about, being an IAM qualified rider, and I think, as Jim Sandersan mentions below, Bob could do with taking a look at the RoSPA and IAM again, as the whole ethos is around planned systematic riding, which leads to safer riding. Depending on your view, ‘defensive’ riding can be as much of a problem on the road as aggressive riding as it can lead to frustration on the part of other road users, you need to be aware of your surroundings, think about what is happening and what might happen and then ride in a way that mitigates the hazards.

    As I said above, this should be the standard for ALL road users, but sadly there are some things too difficult to push through legislation, like the comment on making all car drivers spend time on a bike, whilst appealing to motorcyclists the majority would kick out a government that insisted on that I’m sure!

    As to the document, I felt that it was incitful, but as with all surveys, my opinion was that the questions were designed to lead you down a certain path hence the high acceptance of the proposals. Some of the comments seem to have been plucked out and put into the document at what appeared random places too, as they appeared to bear no real relevance to the section of legislation they appeared to be linked too. For example the comments on page 40 with regard to earned recognition. I understood this section was related to a way of identifying the standard of the training provided by the ATB, so why are some of the comments (the last 4) talking about the actual tests and training. It just doesn’t fit in my eyes.

    This is my opinion and in no way should be associated to the training organisations I mention above, who I am sure will have thier own official stance on this document.

    Mark Owen, Dover, Kent
    Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

    Interesting read and a subject I’m interested in having been training riders since 1996. I tend to agree with Bob Craven’s comment up to the last sentence. I think the idea that Advanced Training is ‘aggressive’ is outdated these days and that Advanced Training Instructors and bodies would also disagree on the whole. Advanced training is not about speed or even ‘progress’, a word used euphemistically in the past to describe a prompt pace at the speed limit for the majority of the advanced ride. My experience over the last few years in Advanced Riding circles, working with organisations such as the IAM and others, has been of what I would describe as ‘clever’ riding! I also do some training with the Police where exemption from speed restrictions is practiced and even here focus is on intelligent use of the machine and road, rather than pace, this is how I feel up-to-date Advanced trainers see Advanced Training in the 21st century. 🙂

    Jim Sanderson, Rochester
    Agree (7) | Disagree (1)

    Once again another time wasting intervention or a continuance. Some good points like the theory test for all but generally stuck about the requirement for trainers to become more qualified. Is that what we want or are they already qualified enough? It begs the question as to whether previous legislation has let us all down? I don’t think that that is all the problem. Part of the problem is that not many new young budding motorcyclists, or older riders going back to being a motorcyclist, want training. As such, they remain untrained and basically inexperienced and a continuing danger on the roads.

    All this time has been taken and will be taken into the future to try to get it right but when will that happen? Next year or the year after or the one after that and in the meantime more will die or suffer serious injuries because the matter of further mandatory training is not being addressed. When I say mandatory I mean that they should undergo such testing and training that is currently available in order for them to pass a DSA test but to go further and propose more training over a period of time. That period of time could either be immediately after CBT or spread over a period of say a year. It should be focused on defensive riding techniques by experiencing the variety of roads and the manner in which one should apply onself to ride with safety on those roads. One of defensive riding and not necessarily, may I say it, the more aggressive style of Advanced Riding.

    bob craven
    Agree (8) | Disagree (10)

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