Safety probe for new riding test

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MPs have launched an investigation into whether a new riding test is safe after 45 learners crashed in the test’s first nine weeks.

The Commons Transport Committee is questioning whether new exercises including a swerve manoeuvre are ‘safe and appropriate’.

The committee is also investigating whether the Government was right to split the new exam into two parts and whether enough new test centres have been provided.
The investigation will lead to recommendations which the Government must respond to.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) said today there had been 45 incidents between the introduction of the test on April 27 and the end of June, 12 of which resulted in learners being taken to hospital. A spokesman said the incident rate was 3.8 per thousand tests conducted.

Most of the crashes have happened during an exercise requiring learners to swerve around cones at 31mph before stopping.

The transport committee said: ‘Concerns have been expressed that there are too few test centres and that some test candidates are now required to travel long distances to reach their nearest test centre.

Concerns have also been raised about the safety of riders taking the off-road test, particularly the “swerve and stop” test.’

The investigation is asking interested parties: ‘Are the off-road motorcycle tests safe and appropriate? Is the number of motorcycle test centres adequate and are the locations satisfactory?’

For more on this, including the police officer who wants to sue the DSA after dislocating his pelvis attempting the test, get MCN, on sale August 5.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell