Research conducted in 2014 recommended a number of areas for the improvement of compulsory basic training for learner motorcyclists. I am today announcing a public consultation on proposals to strengthen the structure and delivery of the course.
The research was commissioned by the Department to gain a more detailed understanding of who is taking compulsory basic training and why; to seek the views of trainers and learner riders on the current course content and how any changes to the content or structure would affect them.
The Government recognise that motorcyclists, particularly those who are young and/or inexperienced are especially vulnerable and are disproportionately represented in the killed and seriously injured statistics. In 2013, motorcyclists accounted for 22% of all road user deaths despite representing only 1% of vehicle traffic; 19% of all reported motorcycle casualties involved young riders aged 19 and under.
Compulsory basic training has remained largely unchanged since its introduction 25 years ago. This consultation does not propose any changes to the syllabus of the course. However, as a result of the increasing numbers of new young riders who do not take a test and who feature in the casualty statistics, it is now appropriate to review the delivery of compulsory basic training, to help ensure that learner riders are better prepared to ride safely on today’s public roads.
The proposals set out in the consultation paper, which have been developed in conjunction with motorcycle stakeholders including trainers, are primarily aimed at younger riders. However, we believe that there will be benefits for all new riders as the changes proposed would also improve the training received by riders aged 24 and over.
The proposals under consideration cover three broad areas:
The structure and content of compulsory basic training courses;
The qualification process for instructors;
Standards checks for instructors.
A copy of the consultation paper has been made available in the Libraries of both Houses and can be found on the Department’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/dft#consultations.