Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from the Motor Cycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA)

1. Summary

1.1. The Motor Cycle Industry Trainers Association welcomes the opportunity to submit a response to the Transport Select Committee scrutiny into the Government’s Strategic Framework for Road Safety.

1.2. This response represents the views of UK Trainers and Driving Standards Agency Approved Training Bodies (ATB) represented by the Motor Cycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA). The Industry is responsible for the training and assessment for Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and the training, preparation and education for candidates obtaining licence acquisition for Category A. In addition, the majority of the industry plays a large part in the delivery of Post Test Training and Rider development.

1.3 The MCITA have direct links with the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) which has also submitted evidence to the Committee enquiry. The MCITA strongly support the additional points submitted by MCI.

2. Introduction

2.1 MCITA supports the Framework in general and recognises the importance of road safety as a priority for all road users.

2.2 MCITA welcomes a crackdown on antisocial and dangerous driving and the proposed measures for punishment and addressing the issue of driver rider development and training courses as an alternative. We seek reassurances the training and education will meet a National Standard for the motorcyclist, including the delivery where the ATB, as the industry experts, are better prepared to deliver the training compared to local Road Safety Officers (RSO).

2.3 Our response will concentrate on the Governments action plan which is somewhat lack lustre in its response to deal with motorcyclist as an “at risk” road user and the decision not to set road safety targets.

3. Motorcycle Action Plan

3.1 The Governments Vision for Road Safety (Para 15 page 11) aim is to reduce relatively quickly the high risk of some groups more quickly. MCITA are disappointed the there is no inclusion of the motorcyclist within this group. This contradicts the information in Table 1.1 (Page 16) for statistics for KSI casualties for 2009 per billion passenger miles, with the motorcyclist at the highest with 1659 KSI.

3.2 Changes and development of the motorcycle test and instructor training and development are already under review. These issues already fall under technical and working groups with representation by DSA, DfT, MCI, MCITA, MAG and other key stakeholders. MCITA agree there is sufficient representation in this area to produce outcomes leading to a positive approach in improving road safety.

3.3 There is a shortfall. The Strategy indicates a requirement to promote further continuous development of skills when people are at their most vulnerable, IE on completion of licence acquisition for motorcycle (Chapter 4, Para 4.1). This indicator is clearly overlooked with the Government Road Safety Action Plan listed at Annex A. At best the Action Plan for the motorcyclist is woolly and offers no value to the Post Test candidate to contribute and improve motorcyclist education and development thus improving road safety.

3.4 The Action plan has over looked post test training where the rider has moved to a more powerful machine than the test motorcycle. There is a plethora of organisations offering this training such as IAM, RoSPA and Diamond. However for the majority of new post test riders this is considered far too high an entry level and new riders are often put off taking further training. The DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) meets this requirement perfectly, offering entry and more advance levels of rider development on a training to suit you basis. It is fit for purpose and all instructors are DSA registered and quality assured on a regular basis.

3.5 The ERS was launched by the Driving Standards Agency, had government backing and the support of all the major insurance companies. The rewards were significant reductions in premiums far greater than IAM and RoSPA. The ERS has fallen by the wayside and now seem to lack support from both government and DSA. The ERS intent was for national status; however this requires more support from government and DSA.

3.6 Small ATB businesses cannot support a national campaign for the scheme given the current economic climate, in comparison to national charities like RoSPA. The DSA no longer have budget to market the scheme. The ERS gives a National Standard meeting local needs of the region and the individual needs of the rider.

3.7 MCITA recommends further investment and national support by the government and DSA in support of the ERS. Whilst there is some funding provided by DfT for an ERS project Board, there is no mechanism in place to record how many riders take up the scheme or no process in place to evaluate its effectiveness on a nationwide basis.

3.8 The Action Plan also offers increased educational offerings to offenders in the place of fixed penalty notices. MCITA support the requirement to separate the driver from the rider for delivery of the course. Courses in Cambridge are delivered by the RSO team, which at present stands at five RSO’s and six support staff. Within the current economic climate and proposed efficiency and cost savings this is planned to be reduced to one RSO and one support staff. 1 How will this be delivered?

The ATB is the perfect environment to deliver further education to offenders. Qualified, quality assured, and spread across the UK in all major towns and cities. This supports localism, provides an abundance of trainers, supports local business and allows RSO’s to strengthen other road safety issues.

4. Road Safety Targets

4.1 The MCITA supports the six main key indicators relating to road deaths for measurement on a national level and to prevent drastic increases and decreases with only slight fluctuations at local levels with additional indicators reflecting a more realistic approach to the measurement of road safety data. There is disappointment at not producing national and local road safety targets to achieve. Easily achievable targets will promote lethargy and complacently at local levels as would ridiculously high targets promote despair and lack of determination by local authorities.

4.2 Nevertheless any goal set will give the Government, local authorities, road safety organisations and the population or big society something to aim for and hopefully achieve. MCITA would urge this to be revisited in due course.

October 2011

1 Information gained by direct contact to Cambridgeshire RSO office 20 Oct 11.

Prepared 18th July 2012