November 11 2009.

Proposals to improve skills and safety for new motorcycle riders were published today by the Department for Transport (DfT) in conjunction with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The measures are contained in a consultation on the implementation of new European requirements on driver testing, training, examination and licensing which come into force in 2013.

The main aspects of the new requirements are:

Motorcyclists  - The current two categories of motorbike will be replaced with three A1 (up to 125cc), A2 (up to 35Kw) and A (above 35Kw) - and new rules introduced for riders of larger bikes. Riders wanting to progress to larger categories of motorbikes will have to take additional training or a further test and there will be a rise in the minimum age from 21 to 24 for those wishing to start riding larger bikes without previous experience.

Rosemary Thew, Chief Executive of the Driving Standards Agency which is responsible for delivering driver testing and setting standards for driver training, said: "It's important that everyone has the skills they need to drive or ride safely.

"We are already working closely with the groups and industries that will be affected by these new requirements. I urge anyone with an interest in road safety to respond to the consultation and give us their views on how these new measures should be introduced.

Noel Shanahan, Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing
Agency which is responsible for the administration of driver licences
and vehicle registration, said:

The consultation 'Driver Testing, Training, Examining and Licensing: Implementing New European Union Requirements' begins today and will close on 5 February 2010. The consultation can be found at: