Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Uh Oh...

'Designed by professionals':
The new test was brought in at the end of April and in the first three and a half weeks there were 15 incidents during the exam, with at least one rider left with broken bones.

The Motorcycle Action Group says it has warned the government that the test is unsafe and asked for changes.
And the government's response?
The Driving Standards Agency says it is important for novice riders to carry it out to help reduce the number of motorcyclists killed on the road.
By killing them on the test, instead...

10 comments:

steveshark said...

And that, in a nutshell, is one of the main reasons I loathe this government.
No matter what authoritative body challenges a failing government initiative, some government whore will turn round and say, "It doesn't matter - we know best".
Why are experts we pay for overruled by government amateurs all the time?
WV = insur

ranter said...

The test is part of this governments intent to 'outlaw' motorcycling.

Longrider said...

Ranter is close to the nub of it - government dislikes motorcycling and is doing its damnedest to discourage it. I believe the expression is "reducing our options for riding motorcycles on the public highway" or some such.

All that said, the ability to swerve is one of those things that riders need to be able to do, yet if they are reading the road never will. It is semi-automatic, as is steering the machine. A capable, competent and experienced rider will do it instinctively if needed.

So, how do you ensure new riders have the necessary skills?

Stan said...

Actually, the swerve test is quite a good idea - it's just the way it's being applied that is wrong. The speed it is tested at is too fast for novice riders even in dry conditions, but in wet (or icy) conditions it is a potential killer.

I think it should be part of the CBT - at lower speeds - but not part of the actual test. It's a good idea to train people to avoid hazards, but it's a bad idea to simulate hazards for a test. Hazards are, after all, hazardous.

Incidentally, I first took my motorcycle test on a frosty morning in 1977. My examiner told me to proceed at 20-30 mph and he would step into the road (they used to walk around in those days) and I was required to stop before reaching him. I tootled along at around 25 watching out for him to step out and he finally did - with me just 10 yards from him! I didn't even bother to try the emergency stop - just swerved around him, pulled up normally then went back and said "Are you taking the piss?"

I failed.

JuliaM said...

"Ranter is close to the nub of it - government dislikes motorcycling and is doing its damnedest to discourage it."

Just motorcycles, or is it part of their general 'make driving too complicated, expensive and timeconsuming' for people?

"So, how do you ensure new riders have the necessary skills?"

Stan makes a good point about the road conditions at the time of the test. Surely it's within the power of the examiner to determine when it is unsafe to do it, and postpone it for another time?

Otherwise, I'd think they'd leave themselves open to lawsuits!

"My examiner told me to proceed at 20-30 mph and he would step into the road..."

Brave man! ;)

Longrider said...

Stan does make a good point - I was being rhetorical. This is a training rather than examination issue. Providing the ability is demonstrated during CBT, then that should be sufficient.

Of course, once they rip up their L plates, new riders are then at their most vulnerable as all they have done is demonstrate a fairly basic level of machine control and roadcraft. Experience is what keeps you alive in the long term.

blueknight said...

Hazel Blears rides a motorbike but she may not be around for much longer.
...or is it part of their general 'make driving too complicated, expensive and timeconsuming' for people?...
It makes you wonder. Maybe there is a hidden agenda.

Malthebof said...

The bit that has been omitted, is that it was, hold your breath now 'An EU Directive' There now doesn't make it feel better.

Von Spreuth. said...

Never been without a motorbike for over 25 years. Both in work, and as a ... ahem "club" rider...;-)

And yes, the "Government", no matter WHAT colour, and what country, have been against us for years. Strange though, that when some so CALLED "v.i.p" comes to Berlin, all of a sudden they want me on that motorbike as fast as possible to escort them.

Aye, well, NEXT time, I may demand to see what they are doing for riders rights first.

(M.A.G member for 20 years)

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

JuliaM said...

"The bit that has been omitted, is that it was, hold your breath now 'An EU Directive' There now doesn't make it feel better."

God, is there nothing they don't seek to control?

Sorry. Rhetorical question...

"Strange though, that when some so CALLED "v.i.p" comes to Berlin, all of a sudden they want me on that motorbike as fast as possible to escort them."

Same as it ever was... *sigh*