MAG report recommends full review of motorcycle licencing regime

MAG do all this for you for 0.07 pence a day. A bargain I think you’ll agree.

So head over to the MAG website and join up.
Do you care ??

New MAG report recommends full review of motorcycle licencing regime.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has published a new report
recommending a full review of the motorcycle licencing regime. MAG
claims that the licencing regime is delaying the age at which new riders
pass a full test, resulting in higher young rider casualty rates. The
analysis also raises significant questions about the lack of data on CBT

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown,
collaborated with Dr. Jessica Andersson-Hudson of Lund University on the
analysis. The study revealed that the peak age for attaining a full
motorcycle licence in Great Britain is 24. This compares unfavourably
with the equivalent peak age of 17 for car driving licences.

Full licence status confers no advantage other than the privilege of
removing L plates for young riders below the age of 19. Young riders
wanting to ride larger capacity bikes will often delay getting a full
licence until the age of 24. For riders whose ambition is to commute on
a 125cc motorcycle there is no justification for the cost of obtaining a
full licence. The analysis provides evidence to confirm the fears.

The study reveals that for every five CBT certificates issued, just one
full licence is achieved. MAG believes that many new riders simply
abandon riding in favour of less environmentally friendly cars.

Colin Brown comments:

“There is little evidence to fall back on with respect to CBT riders.
We have no way of knowing how many riders are currently riding on L
plates, nor how often they choose to renew their CBT. We are
recommending more research is done into this area, but it is beyond the
resources of MAG to fund it. I would like to see Government funding
being offered to allow this work to be done.”

As well as the suppression of the numbers riding motorcycles, the safety
impacts of the current regime are also revealed by the report. The
analysis shows that young riders account for 28% of all motorcycle
casualties. The figure is 18% for young drivers. The comparison
normalises for the relative safety of the two modes, but clearly shows
that young riders are more likely to suffer than young drivers. The
connection to the proportion of unqualified young riders seems hard to

Colin concluded:

“I don’t claim to have all the answers on how to improve the current
regime. But I do think this study reveals that there is a genuine and
pressing need for change. We want better safety outcomes from the
system. Also, we need to remove entry barriers to motorcycling. As a
transport mode it offers a real solution for reducing transport
congestion and emissions. It’s time to accentuate the benefits, not
suppress them.”


I’d be interested in a laypersons summary as to the benefits of joining MAG? I’m keen, and curious…

I joined because they actively lobby for bikers everywhere. Change requires persistence and coordination, which they seem to have. Just because they don’t win every fight outright doesn’t mean some changes aren’t tempered. We have a better chance of being heard if we speak with a collective voice.

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I 2nd the above

That’s a really interesting point MAG are making, I’d never considered it… :clap::clap::clap:

Edit- I’d be interested in @MrsVisor opinion on the subject… ( it’s been a while since I passed my tests)
How much skills and knowledge improvement did you get from learning for the full license over the CBT?

@DCS222 I was going to reply to this earlier, it takes a lot of thought though as it’s not straightforward in my mind! Have just attempted a reply so rambling and long winded I have deleted it before submitting, but will try and articulate how I feel shortly :laughing:.

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I think that something has to change but there are so many moving parts. I think currently those who undertake CBT are divided into:

  1. People who want to ride a bike and progress onto their full licence.
    The incentive here for people to undertake multiple CBTs until they can move straight to a category A licence must be high; who wants to spend time and money on repeating the same tests multiple times undertaking the progressive system? The only thing the system likely incentivises amongst the younger cohort who do not want to spend years on a 125cc but do not want to go the progressive route either because of the time and cost implications is riding illegally.
  2. People who need a CBT to gain employment (I still cannot believe we have a system that allows you to ride for hire / reward on the most basic of training). There is no incentive here for further training and tests as there is no interest in the riding, yet delivery riders especially must be amongst the highest - risk category of rider on the road - out in all road conditions in frequently very busy urban areas, whilst also tending to be young and male.
  3. People who need a CBT so that they can use a bike as transport, but will swap to a car as soon as they are able. Again, there is no incentive for further training as the bike is a means to an end, therefore again why spend time and money when you don’t have to?

There is an incentive to further training in that the Ls can be removed and the consequent reduction in moronic behaviour of other road users around you simply because you are displaying L plates (it was a real eye - opener to me) which perhaps reduces accidents itself as other traffic is behaving a bit more rationally.

There is however a dis - incentive in that insurance goes up considerably when you pass your A1 rather than remaining on a CBT I believe. I have seen three posts on Nosy Book in recent weeks from riders who have passed their A1 and seen huge insurance hikes on the same bikes that they were riding on CBTs but passing their tests hiked their premiums (from £400 to £1200 in one case).

This is even further sub divided into:

  1. Experienced road - users. When I did my CBT I had 28 years of experience driving all sorts of vehicles on the road. My knowledge of how roads work and hazard perception is good and I have enough experience banked to anticipate all sorts of situations. Therefore when I did my on - road portion of the CBT my only real focus was bike control.
  2. People with no experience of the road. The man I did my CBT with had no idea at all of how the roads worked or the Highway Code. He didn’t know how roundabouts worked or when to give way / when to stop etc or how to judge situations at all (not his fault, he had just never driven a car. He did ride a push bike but rode on the pavements). On the road section of the CBT he had to venture out into busy Friday - afternoon traffic and try not to get squashed as well as learn how to operate the bike.

I think that the roads now are much more hazardous than when the CBT came into being over 30 years ago. It is simply not safe to allow people with no experience of the road at all out on a powered vehicle with only a two hour ride as their training.

IF the CBT were to be kept I suppose the ideal really would be requiring the theory test to be passed before undertaking a CBT, with CBTs perhaps spread over 1.5 or two days so that a full day could be spent on the theory and practice of road riding.

I suppose it would be nice to see the CBT scrapped and all riders needing to pass modules 1 and 2 (or a reworked test) on an age - appropriate bike - but I would also scrap the need for experienced riders to keep repeating the same tests as they get older in order to ride more powerful machines. However this would be significantly pricier than a CBT and make riding a bike legally on the roads far more difficult for younger riders and others less likely to have the financial means to do this. Perhaps the answer is subsidised training for younger persons in order to safeguard them (there is a driving scheme for those under the age of 17 for cars aimed at increasing road safety).

Fairly close to the ideal seems to be the Australian graduated motorcycle licence training system to me.

@DCS222 In terms of How much skills and knowledge improvement did you get from learning for the full license over the CBT? The answer is not much; the time I had on the 125 was really valuable and I was lucky in that I had @HelmutVisor to help me improve - for instance in teaching me what counter steering was. I am pleased I had that experience as the transition to the bigger bike was easy and I was fairly confident about getting on my Street Triple. That said, if I had gone for a four day course where CBT was the first day and tests at the end - I would have been given the same skills and knowledge as the CBT, just with more road - riding experience and my learning would have really taken place on the Street Triple. The DAS course was a question of road rides looking at what the DVSA expected from your riding to pass a test.

After all that rambling - I still don’t know what should be done, but am convinced that something has to be!!


Cheers for the rambling… it’s good to read. I know my son is keen to ride but has gone down the car route first. In some ways I’m glad because I was the first to sit in with him and could talk to him of the dangers and the sly… not obvious… Stuff to watch out for. When he eventually goes for a bike, even if I’m not around then… He’s had Some perception knowledge from a biker, not just a car driver.


My work colleague’s son has done the same as your son and her husband is also a biker; they actually said “no” to him getting onto a bike before he could drive a car, just for him to get experience of using the roads first.

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