Road Safety News

Report calls for hazard test as part of CBT

Monday 8th December 2014

A new study suggests that compulsory basic training (CBT) should include a hazard perception test, and that more should be done to encourage learners to undertake an extended period of training after CBT.

The recommendations are from a research report published on 5 December by DfT and DVSA, which was commissioned to understand more about the riders who take CBT and to gather the views of CBT instructors.

The report says the majority of trainers would like to see the introduction of a theory test which learners would take prior to attending CBT, and some learners were also supportive of this idea. It also calls for more clarity about how the theory element of CBT should be taught as “there appears to be considerable variation in approach at the moment”.

The report suggests the core CBT course should be kept to one day but with a “strengthened requirement to extend training when needed”. It adds: “The duration of CBT courses should be determined by the pace at which learners reach a competent standard as they progress through the syllabus and courses can take longer than one day to complete.”

Cost (particularly for young people) and convenience are the main factors that discourage learners from supporting an extended training period.

The report says “it should be made easy and not overly costly for those who want extended training to be able to come back for another two hours on the road for example”.

It also includes a call for consistency in measuring knowledge of the Highway Code and says that learners with “little or no knowledge of the Highway Code” should be asked to come back when they have read it.

It also suggests that DVSA should look at ways for trainers to easily share best practice, and encourage trainers to adopt a client centred learning approach.



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I have to agree. Any perception test should be different. Neil is correct that a motorcyclist has to see most things differently from other road users. Particularly car drivers. More akin to cyclists but with a better understanding of the possible dangers present on the roads.
Bob Craven Lancs....Space is Safe Campaigner

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The recommendations in this report are quite vague and I only see one mention of a hazard perception test, which I see as a mismatch to the headline of this article. I once wrote a report on HP and motorcycle training (university coursework)and it was clear from the evidence available that motorcyclists deal with different hazards to car drivers, hence any HP test for CBT should be a motorcycle specific test where the view seen is that of the rider and not just the car HP test.
neil snow nottingham city council

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I have already commented but I so want to add that the cyclist on the invisible bicycle turning left in front of the motorcyclist in the picture surely is a hazard. Happy Christmas.
Peter Westminster

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As a car driver for many years, when I decided to go for my motorbike licence also, I was stunned to hear that a) I had to take a theory test: I am on the roads already and don't see the need if I am allowed to drive a car without one, and b) that I can go out on a bike to sit my CBT without having to sit the theory test first!

Can you imagine the danger a 17 year old non-driver would face without a clue as to who has right of way etc as he has no experience of the roads. We must make theory tests a requirement before sitting a CBT, although it would be nice to not be required to take these if you are already a driver with a clean license.

After all, if I am good enough to drive a car without sitting a theory test which wasn't around in those days, why do I only need to sit it for bike use but am ok to drive the car without it? Makes no sense. Be better if all drivers had to sit it at least every decade to keep us up to date. When's the last time you read your Highway Code?

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

I have to agree with Bob that we need all organisations to come together. I would not only include the Women's Institute but ask them to chair any a working group. In 1979 at their annual general meeting a resolution was passed that put them in the frontline of road safety for motorcyclists.

“This meeting proposes that all persons acquiring a motorcycle (new or second hand) and holding only a provisional licence should have to undergo an officially approved training scheme.”
Proposed by Calderbridge and Ponsonbury WI (Cumbria-Cumberland Federation) June 1979

This organisation took on the government and won to protect their young and they have been doing it ever since. If it hadn't been for the WI how high would motorcycle casualty figures be? Hazard perception and the Highway Code must be in the training. To survive on the roads one must know the rules, the rule breakers actions and have an understanding of hazards and vulnerability.
Peter Westminster

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One learner quoted in the report put it in a nutshell: “Just need more training and just more knowledge of how incidents can develop and how to avoid them.”

That is the one thing that people really need to know, yet it's a thing that the CBT is really poor at delivering. The CBT tries to do too much and overcomplicates things to the point where the students end up learning very little of value.
Duncan MacKillop, Startford on Avon

Agree (6) | Disagree (0)

If a person wants to drive a car they generally pay for training such as 20 or even 40 hours of tuition. That is a cost that they or someone in the family bears. For so called advanced training some local areas have in the past dramatically reduced the cost (charitable that is) of training to promote road safety and that could perhaps happen on a national basis. This would encourage a greater take up and knowledge at a younger age and be an aid to experience.

From my own perspective CBT in its present form is not fit for purpose and training should be extended for between 10 and 20 hours (maybe more) tuition with reference to certain DSA books, the Highway Code and include hazard awareness etc. Then and only then can a new rider have something like a good start. This will enable them to more adequately conduct themselves on our roads, hopefully in a safer manner with a greater understanding of the danger not only of themselves and their actions but of the consequences of the behaviour of other road users and the possible danger others can pose.

We should have unification of all interested parties from government dept to local authorities, training and charity organisations, emergency services, manufacturers, retailers, clubs and other interested parties to come together in a united front that will coalesce knowledge and put forward a package for the future of motorcycling in this country. Let's make 2015 the year that can happen.
bob craven Space is Safe Campaigner

Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

I have often thought an opportunity was missed with the theory test, why did it not be used to validate a learners licence? It seems odd that you can learn for as long as you like but you only need to have an understanding of the rules of the road when you eventually want to take a test to obtain a full licence.
Steve, London

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