In what is being described as a UK-first initiative, Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled plans to work with delivery companies to create a recognised standard for motorcycle safety.
TfL has announced a raft of new measures to improve the skills and confidence of the Capital’s motorcyclists, including expanding its existing Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) to include businesses which use motorcycles, such as delivery and courier companies.
The voluntary FORS standard has been used in the haulage industry since 2011 to promote safety, efficiency and environmental best practice, with companies awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditations depending on the standard achieved.
The new motorcycle safety standard will cover areas including management, operations, vehicles and drivers – with companies audited on factors including vehicle maintenance, rider training and good operations.
Alongside the new FORS accreditation, TfL has also created three new training courses for motorcyclists in the Capital, designed to boost rider confidence, skills and knowledge before and after Compulsory Basic Training (CBT).
The three new courses:
- Preparing for your CBT: a short, free online course aimed at new and young riders, which includes essential riding theory and key elements of The Highway Code
- Beyond CBT: Skills for Delivery Riders: a one-day post CBT top-up course which teaches riders more about the Highway Code, how to secure and ride with a load, plan routes, make safe deliveries and carry out routine maintenance checks on their motorcycle.
- 1-2-1 Motorcycle Skills: a free, two-hour, tailor-made one-to-one session with a qualified instructor. Aimed at commuters and those who ride lower capacity motorcycles.
TfL will also lobby the Government for changes in the way motorcyclists are licensed, including looking at whether a theory test and hazard perception test could be made mandatory before a driver’s CBT.
Figures published recently by TfL show that motorcycle riders and their pillions accounted for 27% of serious injuries and 28% of all road fatalities in the Capital during 2016, despite making up just 2% of road traffic.
Val Shawcross, London’s deputy mayor for transport, said: “’Through our pioneering FORS we are working with the industry to improve safety and drive up standards for all riders, and we are determined to increase the quality and availability of training that riders can receive.
“But there’s still more we need to do, which is why alongside TfL the mayor will be lobbying the Government to follow our lead and do more to improve the safety of every road user in London.”
Lilli Matson, TfL’s director of transport strategy, said: “It is unacceptable that there are disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists involved in fatal and serious collisions.
“As part of our Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger, our new measures will work alongside wider efforts to reduce the number of serious and fatal collisions on London’s roads which include education, enforcement and infrastructure improvements.”