Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The new UK Motorcycle Test Government reaction


The Government's decision to introduce large Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) and close down many small, convenient motorcycle test sites was unjustified. In a report launched today, the Transport Committee concludes that the implementation of the new MPTCs was bungled, and that it delayed the introduction of the new test. Almost eleven months after the introduction of the new test, it is unacceptable that the Driving Standards Agency has failed to get all 66 planned centres operational, inconveniencing motorcyclists and trainers and driving up the cost of doing a test.

Launching the report, Committee Chair, Louise Ellman MP said, "many candidates and trainers now have to travel too far for their motorcycle test. This adds to the cost , and in some cases, exposes candidates to fast and dangerous roads on the way to a test site-before they have even
taken their test. The Driving Standards Agency needs to give much greater priority to customer service and convenience for test candidates and trainers."

In its report, The new European motorcycle test, MPs conclude that the Driving Standards Agency was slow and dogmatic in its approach to test centres, failing to listen adequately to the motorcycle industry. Smaller test sites could have been retained, saving millions of pounds.
No other country in Europe has found it necessary to build 'super test sites'.

Mrs Ellman adds: "A more pragmatic approach would have cost far less for all concerned. Problems with the new test booking systems and opening hours, have been bad for business. If the new test brings financial ruin to the motorcycle training industry then we will have gone backwards."

The new motorcycle test was implemented following European legislation. The Committee accepts the industry's argument that Government has 'gilded the lily' by adding more manoeuvres to the test than is strictly required by the Brussels Directive, but believes the Government was right to do so. The test employs two practical elements: one consists of
technical exercises off-road and the other is a road-based test of traffic handling skills on the public highway. The Committee believes the new test needs to be very comprehensive, if it is to help reduce deaths and serious injuries among motorcyclists.

Committee Chair, Mrs Ellman said, "Motorcyclists make up just 1% of road users but account for 19% of all deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The risk of death and injury has not declined nearly as much for motorcyclists as for other road users, and this needs to be addressed as a high priority. The new combination of tests is likely to help improve road safety, provided that the Government and the industry work together, and that training for other road users to improve their awareness of motorcyclists on the road is improved too."

The Committee condemns Ministers' failure to negotiate an exemption from the EU requirement that parts of the test should be performed at 50 km/h*31.07 mph. MPs argue that it is both bizarre and confusing that tests should be performed at speeds not permitted on the public highway in built-up areas, and that it should be measured in units not commonly
used in the UK.

The Committee believes the Driving Standards Agency and the motorcycle industry now need to work together to raise the standard and consistency of motorcycle training. MPs also reiterate their 2007 recommendation that the current voluntary registration of motorcycle instructors be made mandatory.

To ensure that the new test is working, the Government must collect robust and reliable data on the number of deaths and serious injuries among motorcyclists, the number of unlicensed motorcyclists, and the length of time between riders training to ride a bike and taking the
test. It must also monitor carefully the number of accidents which occur during the test. The DSA must react quickly to modify the test if incident rates do not decline.

1 comment:

Mark.Carroll said...

This paper outlines the theory used by National Motorcycle Training for all the curricula
we have produced. The information contained herein will assist interested parties to
better understand the motivations for our programs. Additionally, this paper is a resource
for programs aimed at reducing the morbidity (a fatality being the ultimate morbidity)
and hardship caused by the unnecessary mishaps suffered by participants in motorcycling
We encourage you to duplicate and share this information. Our mission includes having
this and other related information available to all who are concerned with improving the
well being of our community!6
This theory:
• Is well tested and can be easily understood and put to use.
• Has helped reduce unnecessary morbidity for motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists.
• Can be evaluated and measurements can be taken to quantify the effectiveness of
curricula developed using this theory.
The postulates of our theory are1:
1. Understand the difference between safety training and skill training and apply this
appropriately in the educational process.
2. Define appropriate morbidity rates and monitor rates through ongoing measurements.
3. Define five groups of participants and manage each group separately and
appropriately (note group order is of increasing importance):
4. Allow separation within groups when stratification occurs among participants.
5. Identify and have countermeasures to reduce the unnecessary mishaps.

See this link for more