June 3 2009.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) and the Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA) are proposing a simple change to the new motorcycle test which would radically reduce the risk of novice riders crashing while attempting the 'hazard avoidance manoeuvre' and 'controlled stop' manoeuvre.

According to the industry, the over-riding factor behind the high accident rates in module 1 of the new test is the combination of the 'swerve' manoeuvre and the 'controlled' stop being conducted as a single entity, which forces the rider to make two drastic changes in direction and then stop in an unreasonable distance. This problem is made worse if the test is taken in the rain.

The proposal put forward by the industry to the DSA, which they are now considering, is to either:-

1 - Remove the controlled stop manoeuvre from module 1 testing


2 - De-couple the controlled stop manoeuvre from the swerve manoeuvre

The MCI does not wish to compromise the potential road-safety benefits of the new test by making it easier, but believes the current situation cannot continue. Any further serious injuries to novice riders will cause a lack of confidence in the test itself, and risk the viability of good training schools who are already losing business due to the lack of available tests.

MCITA's analysis of the original European Directive has found that the EU doesn't require the controlled stop manoeuvre to be tested in module 1, and as such the test can be seen to be 'goldplating' an already onerous piece of legislation.

MCI's Sheila Rainger commented: "Riders will have to demonstrate their ability to perform a controlled stop during the on-road part of their test, so removing the manouvre from the part 1 test would not compromise safety. If the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) insists on checking the rider's ability to perform a controlled stop before progressing onto the road, we are calling for this to be tested as a totally separate manoeuvre from the swerve.

"Although this would extend the testing time for module 1, which isn't ideal, there is currently extra time built into module 1 scheduling so it is achievable with the benefit of reducing accidents, which is a paramount goal.

"We are pleased that the DSA has pledged to review our proposals and hope that common sense will prevail. "