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Tories call for suspension of new test over crashes

Published: 28 May 2009

Updated: 19 November 2014

The Conservatives have called for part of the new riding test to be suspended as the number of learners to crash while taking it continued to rise.

There were 15 incidents in the first three-and-a-half weeks of the new test, according to the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Learners have fallen off while performing the same new swerve exercise and at least one has suffered broken bones.

Conservative Shadow Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: “We’ve called for a suspension of the swerve test until a proper assessment has been carried out.”
The test was plunged deeper into controversy as the DSA admitted riders who weren’t good enough were highly likely to lose control while attempting it.

Replying to a Freedom of Information request about crash numbers, it made the surprise admission: ‘A lack of competence will inevitably put riders at high risk of losing control during the mandatory manoeuvres.’

Goodwill said: “There must be a way of testing the competence of riders without putting them at that sort of risk, which is why we’ve asked for a suspension of the swerve test until a proper assessment of the danger to riders has taken place.

"The vast majority of riders may have no problem but even if a small proportion are involved in accidents which result in injury, that’s not acceptable."

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