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Test centre dress code will penalise new bikers

I'd like to warn prospective motorcyclists of a new hurdle of officialdom they may have to get over before they can enjoy two-wheeled transport.

On July 1, new regulations come into force in England and Wales regarding motorcycle tests. They require that any learner motorcyclist taking a test must wear 'appropriate' clothing, or their test will be cancelled and the fee forfeited. These are regulations created by the Driving Standards Agency, not new laws. And while they do not apply to Northern Ireland, they may in future.

The DSA says these regulations are in response to a large number of accidents occurring at their test centres. Rather than consider the issue of why the accidents are happening, they prefer to refuse to let people do the test unless they are dressed in 'appropriate' protective clothing.

As a motorcyclist of more than 30 years, I believe it foolish to go out on a bike without some protective clothing, but this must remain the choice of the individual.

It is unacceptable to be told how one must dress in order to ride a motorbike.

Of more immediate concern is the fact that France and Ireland are considering making the wearing of high-visibility motorcycle clothing compulsory.

This is not to do with protecting the motorcyclist, but with making up for the failings of other road-users. Why should one class of road-user be criminalised just for the convenience of others?

MARTYN BOYD

Bangor, Co Down

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