March 14 2008.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in conjunction with the motorcycle industry has launched a new Enhanced Rider Scheme to encourage all bikers to assess their riding skills and identify training needs. The scheme will be one of a number of options for bikers to be highlighted at this years RideSafe Rendezvous.

Working closely with training experts, the DSA has developed a syllabus for post test riders with a full bike licence that will help to improve skills, regardless of age, experience or the size of their machine.

The Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) will operate through a network of approved, accredited trainers who are able to identify areas that would benefit from further training. If necessary, a combination of practical and theoretical learning can be tailored to the needs of the rider in a development programme. For those demonstrating a good level of competency and no areas of significant risk, a certificate would be issued to that effect. This certificate can be presented to any one of a number of large specialist insurers who are sponsoring the scheme and offering significant discounts to riders meeting the ERS standard.

Blackburn based PASStime Motorcycle Training are an approved training body and a forum partner to the RideSafe BackSafe initiative and trainer Wendy Whalley has this advice for anyone interested in the scheme;-

" The Enhanced Rider Scheme is similar to the PASS Plus scheme for car drivers, but offers two real incentives to bike riders. The benefit of reduced insurance costs is tangible but in my mind, the support and encouragement that this scheme offers to all bikers - not just those who have recently passed their test - is of greater value. As an industry, we need to motivate bikers to appraise their own skills and to want to improve them. No biker knows it all, so it must follow that everyone would benefit from an increased awareness of the risks and enhancing their riding techniques ".

Information about the ERS and numerous other assessments, rider development and training schemes will be available at this years RideSafe Rendezvous at Fairhaven Lake in Lytham St Annes on Sunday 13th April. The RideSafe BackSafe team, together with the Institute of Advanced Motoring, instructors, police motorcyclists and representative bodies such as BMF and MAG will all be on hand to meet more than 6,000 bikers with road safety and skills training in mind.

Wendy Whalley continues; " The RideSafe BackSafe initiative is encouraging all road users to THINK BIKE! and it is great to see that the Driving Standards Agency continue to address the vulnerability of bikers on the road by offering this new scheme ".

More information about the Enhanced Rider Scheme can be viewed at

The RideSafe Rendezvous is a free one-day show, open from 10.30am until 5.00pm. A stunt show, introduction to biking, trade stands and other exhibitors will make for a full day of entertainment and education. More information about the show and the initiative can be viewed at www.ridesafebacksafe.co.uk