Motorcycle test overhauled

Major changes to the way the motorcycle test is carried out have been unveiled by the Daily Telegraph.

The overhaul follows stinging criticism of the previous government’s launch of new “super test centres”, by MPs last year, and calls for the “hazard avoidance manoeuvre” or “swerve test” to be scrapped after a spate of accidents during the procedure.

Under new rules announced by road safety minister Mike Penning, the off-road section of the motorcycle test has been overhauled, with further changes to the on-road section expected.

Candidates taking the off-road test will now be tested on slow-speed manoeuvres first (such as the observed “circuit ride”), to prove to examiners that they have necessary competence in motorcycle control. Only if they succeed will they be allowed to move onto the high-speed sections (including the swerve test). They will also be given more time to familiarise themselves with the test-track layout.

The emergency stop manoeuvre will also now take place before the swerve or avoidance exercise. Candidates who fail the emergency stop will not be permitted to carry out the avoidance exercise if it is considered unsafe for them to do so. The DfT said this should “significantly reduce the likelihood of an incident for those candidates who are poorly prepared”.


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