General Election 2017 – something to consider
Anna Zee reveals her thoughts about the future of motorcycling and the General Election.
There are two issues in particular which would be worth bringing up with election candidates.
A number of trials of automated vehicles are already in progress in the UK or soon to start.
A major concern for us as motorcyclists is that, currently, Type Approval testing is not fit for purpose in coverage of automated systems. For example, the forward collision warning systems are tested only with cars, not with motorcycles.
We must insist that testing of automated systems takes all other road users into consideration. A longer term objective is to ensure that road space is not dedicated to highly assisted/autonomous vehicles to the detriment of non-equipped road users.
The other issue is about motor insurance, due to the changes effected by the Vnuk judgment.
The current situation has the potential to destroy much motorsport in the UK besides adding to the cost of our insurance (see the next issue of Motorcycle Rider for more about this). Once we have left the EU, it should be simpler to revert to what was originally intended (i.e. insurance of any vehicle used in traffic and nothing else). It should get reasonably high priority post-Brexit as the DfT would like to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
Post-Brexit, we want to see changes to the motorcycle test regime. The DVSA, as previously reported, is already working on a training route to licence upgrades within the current regime. However any major revision, e.g. to reduce the number of stages or build in greater incentives to take the test at all, will require quite a lot more work.
I have my doubts about whether we could go back to a single test – some road safety groups want to bring in staged licensing for car drivers too. Bring the subject up with your election candidates by all means, but it doesn't seem likely to be a very high priority for the Government unfortunately. I think they will have a lot else on their minds.
Anna Zee, BMF Political and Technical Services Director