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Wilson launches new motorcycle test

Thursday, 4 December 2008

A new driving test for motorcyclists was launched today by Environment Minister Sammy Wilson.

In order to obtain a full licence, motorcyclists will, from 8 December 2008, have to pass three tests – a theory test, a motorcycle manoeuvres test and a practical on-road test.

Previously motorcyclists have had to pass the theory test and an on-road test.

Mr Wilson, a keen motorcyclist, welcomed the new manoeuvres test.

The Minister said: “It is important that motorcyclists are fully equipped for the challenges they will face on the road. The new motorcycle manoeuvres test will enable examiners to test core skills in an off-road environment.”

The manoeuvres test is being introduced by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) as a result of a European Directive.

The new test will last approximately 30 minutes and will consist of the following exercises:

A slow riding exercise, with the candidate riding alongside the examiner at walking pace.

A slalom and figure of eight exercise.

Walking and ridden ‘U’ turn exercises and use of the motorcycle stands.

A curve, ridden in second or third gear at a minimum speed of at least 30 km/h (18.75mph).

A combined avoidance and braking exercise at a minimum speed of 50 km/h (31.25mph).

An emergency braking exercise at a minimum speed of 50 km/h (31.25 mph).

The manoeuvres test will be available at the following DVA centres: Ballymena, Craigavon, Downpatrick, Londonderry, Mallusk and Omagh.

DVA Chief Executive Brendan Magee said: “This new test aims to improve road safety through a reduction in the level of motorcycle collisions. Only candidates who demonstrate the ability to carry out these manoeuvres safely will be able to progress to the on-road test.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Further information can be obtained from DVA test centres or by contacting the DVA Customer Helpline on 0845 601 4094.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DOE Press Office on 028 9054 0003 or out of office hours contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.