Road Safety GB expresses ‘grave concerns’ about new motorcycle test

20.49 | 28 October 2009 | | 5 comments

Road Safety GB and other motorcycle stakeholders have expressed their concerns to the Transport Committee about the introduction of the new two-part motorcycle test.

Gareth Tuffery, one of Road Safety GB’s PTW advisors, was invited to attend a meeting of the Transport Committee at the Palace of Westminster on 14 October.

The new motorcycle test was originally scheduled for introduction in October 2008, but this was delayed until April 2009. The delay was a result of concerns raised by key motorcycle stakeholders, including Road Safety GB.

Module1 of the new test comprises a package of specified manoeuvres including the well-publicised swerve test, while module 2 comprises 30 minutes of on-road riding. In order to accommodate the new test the DSA has introduced a number of multi-purpose test centres.

Gareth Tuffery says: “When the DSA announced the changes, stakeholders and riders expressed grave concerns about the complexity of module 1 and the lack of test centres. Some candidates face a round journey of more than 60 miles and on arrival are required to swerve and stop, sometimes on a wet and slippery surface.”

Against this background, Road Safety GB, PACTS and other stakeholders responded with written evidence to the Transport Committee and were invited to attend the meeting on 14 October as witnesses.

Gareth says: “Both Road Safety GB and PACTS, represented by Robert Gifford, focused on the issue of rider safety while taking the test, and while travelling to the test centre.

“I felt extremely nervous – perhaps as nervous as a candidate faced with the swerve test and controlled braking exercise on a wet surface.

“We look forward to the publication of the final report and the Committee’s recommendations. However, it’s significant that Road Safety GB had a voice and that voice was heard.”

For further information contact Gareth Tuffery on 020 7525 5566.

Footnote: A full report on the meeting can be found in the members’ section of this website.



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    I did Mod 1 today on very wet conditions. The chap just before me did everything right till the swerve test – he was too slow through the speed trap. With everything counting on it he pushed the speed (you have to go on ‘feel’ as there is no time to read the speedo). On exiting the hazard he was still in leaning and turning mode to find the straight line when he braked too hard. The bike went from under him, careered into the fence, wrecked the bike (bent forks) and he grazed his side and broke his wrist. From the outset I was nervous about doing the test in the wet. All my training has been in dry conditions. In the dry I managed the swerve successfully. Having witnessed the accident, I was offered the chance to defer the test. But I was psyched up and felt ready, but very nervous. Like the other chap, I too did all the other bits to pass level, but was too slow on the swerve. I was given a second run, pushed up the speed, came through the speed trap and on approaching the swerve had a moment of panic remembering the previous incident, went a little too wide and my foot clipped the outside cone. FAIL!! It’s not sour grapes I hope to say it is hardly a fair test for some to do the test in dry and others in wet – for me it was a very nervous experience and one for which all my training to that point had not covered. For my next attempt I will do it in the dry or not at all! There must be a better and more equitable way to test new riders.

    Les Cairns, Ayr, Scotland
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    More should be done to teach active counter steering at any speed over 20 mph. Then with this under their belt a learner will be more confident and in control should the circumstances dictate that they swerve to avoid another vehicle.

    Training organisation which teach this technique to beginers have done well. Others who dont teach and believe that its only for advanced training have failed miserably.

    All should teach active countersteering as a matter of course. even at cbt level.

    Bob Craven, Blackpool
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    Further to my last comment. Its suicide to, as a motorcyclist, to brake and swerve at the same time. The end result in most instances will be fall off.

    One can swerve first and then brake but not both at same time. Its physically impossible and maintain being on bike.

    Bob Craven, Blackpool
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    seriously, if they are going to have a test, every rider should be exposed to the same conditions! its not fair putting some on the wet, and others in the dry.

    I passed well in the dry, but might have simply refused to do the test in wet conditions.

    Also, anyone doing this test might want to invest in good motorcycle cloathing with armour. Knee and a jacket with back,shoulder, arm protection in, and some good motorcycle boots, and also good trousers.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    It’s a round trip of approximately 140 miles from Aberystwyth (west Wales) to our nearest Module 1 test centre in Bangor, Swansea, or Newport (England).

    Rory Wilson, Aberystwyth
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