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Theory test to be required before taking motorcycle CBT course

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Thursday 22 February 2024

To improve road safety, from 1st May, individuals wanting to complete a motorcycle Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course will first be required to take a formal theory and hazard perception test.

These tests are currently undertaken through Driver & Vehicle Licensing at Edward T Wheadon House.

This change, supported by Guernsey Police, follows concerns raised by those delivering motorcycle training on island. It was also supported when the Integrated Transport Strategy was approved by a previous States.

Those who learn to ride motorcycles do not have co-drivers and the majority of those who undertake their CBT are younger riders who may not have the same level of road safety awareness as other provisional licence holders. Young drivers are more likely to show poorer visual awareness, hazard recognition and avoidance, and are less able to judge appropriate speed for circumstances.

This change will not apply to anyone who can provide evidence of passing:

For clarity, this requirement is only for those who are taking a full CBT course and will not apply to individuals that only require a Direct Access course.

Letters will be sent out to those who hold a provisional motorcycle licence, but do not have a valid CBT certificate recorded against it, to explain this change and remind them that they will need to complete their CBT before they can ride their motorcycle. To renew a provisional motorcycle licence category, a valid CBT certificate must be held.

Letters will also be sent to those who hold a provisional motorcycle licence and may have taken a full CBT or a motorcycle theory test for a previous motorcycle licence in the last five years. This is to remind them of the need to take a Direct Access course before they can ride their motorcycle. More information about CBT is available at gov.gg/cbt.

To support this change, the Guernsey Motorcycle Training Scheme (GMTS) have held off on opening future CBT spaces, however, more spaces will now be available.

This could be extended to other vehicles in the future, however, motorcycles were seen as a necessary first step.

Islanders can apply for a motorcycle provisional driving licence one month before the minimum age requirement of that category. Once they have received their driving licence number, they can book their motorcycle theory test via traffic.gov.gg. Theory tests can be booked in advance but may only be undertaken once a licence holder has met the minimum age requirement of that category. Once they have passed the theory test, they can then book onto a CBT course.

Colin Le Page, Lead Officer - Traffic and Highway Services, said:

"Improving road safety for all road users, particularly those who are vulnerable, is one of Traffic and Highway Services' key priorities. This change is about equipping people with the right knowledge and information before they take to the road to make sure that we can keep one another safe on our roads. If you're coming up to the age where you'll soon be learning to ride, or if you know someone who is, please make sure you understand what steps you need to take and in what order to avoid disappointment."

Andy Smith, Roads Policing Sergeant, said:

"Guernsey Police is always supportive of any initiative that seeks to improve road safety and best practice for road users. It is important that islanders using public highways are properly informed about the rules of the road to ensure that everyone is as safe as can be.

Martin Proudlove, Guernsey Motorcycle Training Scheme (GMTS), said:

"GMTS are fully supportive of the new initiative requiring new CBT candidates to take and pass the theory test and hazard perception test.

"The theory test is just one part of the process of learning to ride. You need to learn the facts, but it is important to understand how they relate to real riding.

"The combination of knowing rider theory and having good practical riding skills will not only help you pass your test it will also make you a safer rider for life."

More information about applying for a provisional motorcycle licence is available at gov.gg/drivinglicence.

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