Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nanny's Dangerous Test

MotorcycleThere is something of a delicious irony in this story.

Nanny claims that she wants to reduce the number of accidents on the roads, eg motorcycle accidents.

To this end she has "stiffened up" (a very bold phrase to use before the 9PM watershed) the motorcycle driving exam, by introducing a swerve test.

During the test learners have to reach 50km/h, then perform a swerve on special test centre tracks.

All very well, except that there is one small fly in Nanny's oinkment.

Can you guess what this children?

Yes, that's right, the swerve test seems to be a tad dangerous!

There have been a series of crashes in the first few weeks of its use; 15 incidents during the exam, with at least one rider left with broken bones.

Some instructors believe that Nanny hasn't properly thought the test through. Nanny, not thinking something through?

Quell surprise!

I wouldn't worry too much, given that motorcycles are often (but not always) driven by young men (whom Nanny hates with a vengeance) and that Nanny hates motorcycles per se, it is clear that within the fullness of time Nanny will ban motorcycles outright (and probably young men too)!

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  1. I took my motorbike test many years ago on an old 250cc Triumph. I drove a couple of times around the block one way and then, back the other. The examiner jumped out in front of me and I stopped before I hit him.
    Since then, there have been many changes to the bike test, more and more regulations and crazy ideas. At the end of the day, a testosterone filled young teenage male, that has been protected from all risky things throughout his life, once on a bike is going to take risks....It is what we have all done. Once the test has been passed, Nanny can't sit pillion and therefore, if the kid wants to do mad things he will. It is within the nature of young men to do slightly crazy dangerous things.

    I have thought for many years that Nanny will eventually ban motorbikes altogether, afterall, she has made it more and more difficult to get a bike license and many now, I suspect, feel it is too much hastle to go through the process.

    One final thought, no matter how safe bikes and bikers are made through tighter and tighter regulations, it will not change the danger bikers are at from car drivers and other road users. There is a good argument that all car drivers should have to ride a motor bike for a year before getting into a car, this will make them more aware of bikes.....However, this scheme would be too much Nannying and therefore I cannot support it!!

  2. Does this mean that Nanny will introduce a new feature into the car driving test, in which a motorcycle is launched at the car as it pulls out of a junction?
    The car driver then has to learn how to say "Sorry mate, didn't see you" as sincerely as possible.

    What happened to Bliar's statement that Labour were pro-bike?

  3. Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells12:22 PM

    Yes, Nanny conveniently overlooks the fact that 80% of motorcycle accidents (and a similar figure for cycle casualties) are down to an idiot holding a steering wheel. Nanny (in the form of Robert Gifford of PACTS) really does hate motorcycles and like any zealot he's made it his life's goal to have his extreme views heard and acted upon.

    My credentials: first provisional licence in 1966 at the age of 16, passed my bike test in May '68 and since then over 1,000,000 miles on two wheels without accident nor conviction. And yes, my bike test was similar to Tonk's.

    We've known all along that the Government's intention is to deter folk from riding motorbikes. During the 1990s one of the riders' groups got hold of a confidential Department of Transport memo that stated that "closing the option to ride motorcycles on public roads depends on establishing appropriate public opinion". In other words twist the accident statistics to blame riders for accidents that aren't their fault.

  4. Why does the rider have to reach 50km/h in the test when they'll be driving at proper mphs's on the British roads?

    Is this another subtle hint that we'll be going metric on the roads sometime?

  5. microdave4:56 PM

    I survived 25 years or so on a variety of mopeds/motorcycles, and must have covered 200,000 miles or thereabouts with out killing myself. (I did come off a few times, but in those days you weren't likely to be run over seconds later!)

    I still have a BMW R65, but haven't used it for many years, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think I would be happy riding on the roads as they are now.

    This "Swerve" test reminds me of the Mercedes "A" series car when it was first introduced. A motoring journal carried out the "Elk" test, as it was known, which involves a sudden evasive measure, simulating being confronted with one of these beasts. To everyone's horror (not least Mercedes themselves) it promptly rolled over! They pointed out that even the humble Trabant managed to stay upright when doing this, and there was some very hasty redesign carried out....

  6. richard3:36 AM

    the swerve test isnt necessarily a bad idea. there has to be some way of determining if a rider can manage a corner with confidence. as an avid "Bike" reader, i remember a fairly recent article in which this very topic was examined. the conclusion was that the current test does NOT prepare riders for cornering confidently on the roads, or understanding the interplay between leaning and braking at speed. they concluded that a few trackdays would be more use than cones, or theory tests. one chilling example to support this approach was that of a newly-qualified rider drifting at 50mph onto the wrong side of the road on a left-hander and being struck and killed by an oncoming lorry. she wouldn't lean the bike through sheer inexperience. furthermore, police riders *quoted in Bike) who examined other crash scenes where riders lost it at relatively low speeds were able to take the same bend "one-handed" - the 15 riders who crashed in test conditions are maybe lucky, as their lack of skill can be addressed, instead of having their next-of-kin informed of their demise. the inference that the test is dangerous because of accidents is wrong - the possibility is at least as likely that the riders who crashed were inept or badly-trained.
    in conclusion, the idea that riders should actually be taught to corner properly is a good one.

  7. Tonk.9:35 AM

    I would suggest there is a lot of difference between cornering correctly and swerving.
    Cornering correctly, to me, means the safe, smooth negotiation of bends and corners during the normal course of riding. Swerving, on the otherhand, suggests altering the bikes direction of travel in an emergency such as when a car driver fails to see you and pulls out at a junction.
    The latter skill tends to come with experience. I assume most riders still use the gyroscope effect for the smooth handling and steering of larger heavier bikes; namely pulling gently on the left side of the handlebars to move right etc etc...This would be how a skilled rider, as in the case of the police rider, could take a corner one handed.

    Nanny may indeed mean well but, as with many things implemented by Nanny, she has not thought them through and this one appears to be more about ticking boxes rather than safety and rider protection.

  8. While you're busy working out what 50km/h means you'll lose concentration on the road and crash.

  9. Anonymous2:22 PM

    The problem is not the swerve test - it is that there is no consideration for the conditions. The test will be carried out at the same speeds whether hot & sunny or rainy & treacherous.

    As ever, nanny long ago stopped caring about the population. She is just a rule machine. Make rules then make more rules to force people to obey them. What they are for really doesn't matter.

  10. I have noted this before, but it seems that Nanny is averse to anything adrenaline related. People might enjoy themselves, and the satisfaction of successfully coping with something challenging, and yes, perhaps even potentially dangerous, breeds self-confidence, vigor, and a cheerful independence that Nanny can't abide.

    BTW: I purchased a 150cc motor scooter in April, but in my mind, I'm now a charter member of the Hells Angels.

    Perhaps I'll change my internet pseudonym to "Easy Blighter."

  11. richard4:06 PM

    Tonk and Anon, i agree, the Governement will make a mess of it, and won't care. something Will Have Been Done.
    the State doesn't like salt-cellars with too many holes, or chip-shops near schools, so a motorcycle is an obvious target. i have the slight satisfaction of riding a two-stroke. plenty of oily smoke for my carbon arse-print. but it's not in the same league as Mt. St. Helen's. the earth'll put out more shite in ten seconds in a big eruption than humanity can manage in a hundred years. it

  12. richard4:07 PM

    makes me annoyed.

  13. microdave6:19 PM

    Can we send Hazel Blears on one of these tests?