Motorcycle test – tell the DOT what you think
11 June 2010
New transport minister Mike Penning – himself a motorcyclist – ordered the review of the motorcycle test after listening to the concerns of motorcycle groups and visiting a test centre to look at the testing procedure.
He wants to hear from riders and the industry to outline how they believe testing could be improved to produce “safe, confident and responsible riders”.
A new two-part test was introduced to meet EU rules in April 2009. Module 1 covers manoeuvres such as braking and “avoidance”; module 2 includes 30 minutes of road riding.
But in March the influential Commons Transport Committee described the Government’s roll-out of “super test centres” as “bungled” and “unjustified” in a hard-hitting report.
It said the operation forced the closure of small convenient local test centres, forcing learners to travel to new Multi-Purpose Test Centres on “fast and dangerous” roads before they had even taken their test.
The Driving Standards Agency had been “slow and dogmatic” in its approach to test centres, failing to listen adequately to the motorcycle industry.
Problems with the new test booking system and opening hours had been “bad for business”, said the report.
Now Mr Penning has promised to investigate manoeuvres carried out in both modules, and whether some could be conducted on-road.
MPs previously said it was “bizarre and confusing” that tests should be conducted at speeds above those allowed in built-up areas.
“Road safety is a top priority and the testing and training on offer is vital in our work to cut the disproportionately high numbers of motorcyclists killed and injured on our roads each year,” said Mr Penning.
“It is clear there are concerns among the motorcycling community about the safety of the off-road module of the test.
“That is why I am today asking riders, safety groups and motorcycle industry representatives to come forward with their ideas for how testing and training can be improved to ensure we produce safe, confident and responsible riders.”
Views had be submitted to the Department for Transport by July 31 2010 – share them with us by commenting below.