DfT reviews CBT process

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Published on 9 December 2014 by Gill

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Filed under Category: Campaigning

The Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) commissioned SPA Future Thinking to undertake research among trainers and learner riders about the motorcycle CBT. This was to gain a better understanding of who is taking CBT and to gather views on their experiences of providing the training or taking their CBT, including how CBT might be improved.

The findings of the report led to the following recommendations:

  • Introduce a theory test or simplified version of it
  • Communicate best practice in theory training to all ATBs
  • More consistency in measuring knowledge of the Highway Code
  • Allow more flexibility for repeat CBT learners
  • Share best practice for training the practical elements
  • Keep the core course to one day but strengthen the requirement to extend training when needed
  • Encourage ATBs to offer a menu of rates including charges for the standard one day course and charges for extra booster/ top-up/ half hour sessions
  • Assess learners’ carefully for bike handling skills and awareness of the Highway Code
  • Most trainers support limiting the validity of CBT certificates for those who took their CBT on automatics to automatics only – conversion courses should be taken to ride on manuals
  • There may be resistance to requiring CBT to be taken every year instead of once every 2 years as a way of encouraging more learners to go on to take the full motorcycle test
  • Sort learners by ability
  • Specific considerations for young riders – young males tend to be over-confident
  • There is support amongst trainers to have increased mystery unannounced inspections
  • There would be safety benefits if trainers were required not only to ensure trainees understand the need to wear the right clothing and equipment but to ensure trainees meet this standard during training courses.

BMF’s Government Relations Executive, Graeme Hay, commented: “The BMF welcomes this review of the CBT system. The present arrangements came into being more than 30 years ago and while the CBT led to the single most dramatic reduction in casualties among new riders, it must now be time to look at the scheme afresh.

“We understand that so far a considerable amount of data collection has gone on to support the extensive and detailed survey work amongst the two key groups: new riders and trainers. This information has been brought together into a report and we have had an early viewing. It looks very promising and should provide the basis for a review based on facts and real-world experience. The Department has indicated that this process should take three or so months with a consultation some time either side of next year’s general election.

“I am delighted to see that this work will be based not on myths and legends but on facts and real experience: it is clear that the DVSA and DfT have a clear desire to make the training better for the most vulnerable riders.”

Read the full report here