Traffic calming measures will have an effect on motorcycle traffic directly and also indirectly as a result of slowing the speed of the general flow of traffic, including motorcycles. Full-width road humps are likely to be the most effective in slowing motorcycles directly. I recognise that speed cushions and chicanes may be less effective in slowing motorcycles. It is for the relevant highway authority to determine the most appropriate form of traffic calming depending on local circumstances.
(2) if he will assess the merits of raising the age at which 50 cc motorcycles can be driven on the road to that for other motorised vehicles;
(3) how many accidents there have been in each of the last five years involving 16-year-olds driving 50 cc motorcycles.
16-year-olds are entitled to ride mopeds, which have an engine capacity of under 50 cc and are limited to a maximum speed of around 50 mph. Anyone wanting to ride a moped, even with a provisional licence, must first of all successfully complete a Compulsory Basic Training course. This is a legal requirement, which is designed to provide riders with the necessary skills before riding unaccompanied on the road. In this way, those who need independence and mobility at a younger age are given the opportunity to gain it.
The number of personal injury road accidents reported to the police, in each of the last five years, involving a 16-year-old rider on a motorcycle of 50 cc and under (whether or not the rider was themselves injured) are:
Number 2001 1,698 2002 1,798 2003 1,876 2004 1,997 2005 1,953
In 2005, 1,882 16-year-old riders of mopeds were injured in road accidents, of whom four were killed and 318 were seriously injured. A further 38 pillion passengers of 16-year-old moped riders were injured, of whom none was killed and five were seriously injured. In addition, another 71 road users were injured in accidents involving 16-year-old moped riders, of whom none was killed and 12 were seriously injured.
Accidents involving 16-year-old moped riders accounted for 8 per cent. of all accidents involving motorcycles and 8 per cent. of all casualties to motorcycle riders and passengers but only accounted for less than 1 per cent. of fatal accidents and casualties. We have not made any other assessment of the impact on road safety of permitting 16-year-olds to drive mopeds.
We have no plans to consider raising the minimum age for riding a moped. Moped riders of all ages will benefit from the range of measures for improving the safety of all motorcycle users, as set out in “The Government’s Motorcycling Strategy”.
In addition, last year the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) produced a DVD on moped safety “Get the Message: Act Your Age”, which is aimed at young moped riders. Manufacturers provide a free copy with all new mopeds. It has also been distributed to all secondary schools and local authority road safety officers, as part of MCIA’s educational resource “Links: connecting citizenship and Road User Education”.