MOTORCYCLES - Getting Licenced
For as long as I've known people that were nearly old enough to acquire a license I've been hearing the same things over and over again. It doesn't seem to matter how young or old someone is, almost all of them will offer up the fact that they are "really good drivers". Many people will even say this within a couple of breaths of admitting that they would not pass a road test if they had to take one today.
More recently, since I've started promoting motorcycle training, I've had the opportunity to listen to several people explain how stupid the idea of motorcycle training is because "Anyone can ride a bike". "I know how to ride, I passed my skills test on my first try."
In the grand scheme of things, the Motorcycle Skills Test should really the least of anyone's concern when it comes to motorcycle safety. Yes, the skills that are assessed in the test are VERY important, but the fact is that very few people have fatal motorcycle accidents in parking lots.
Most people feel that drivers license tests are hard (some go so far as to say they are too hard), and many feel like they had been judged unfairly if they scored poorly. There is one thing that all the licensing tests have in common, no matter what class it's for, and that is that passing means you meet the lowest possible level of skill and safety that is considered a reasonable risk. If you do not pass a licensing test it really does mean that you are not skilled enough, or safe enough to move onto the next step...... There's no need to get upset if you don't pass, just accept the fail as honest criticism and take the time to learn how to do things better.
If you do pass licensing exams, do your part and acknowledge that there is still room for improvement and continue to practice and increase your skills and awareness. Passing you test, whether it is for you class 5, 6, or A1 does not mean you know enough and are a "good driver", it simply means that you are good enough to continue to learn outside of a structured environment without supervision.
As a motorcyclist it really worries me every time I hear someone say that they wouldn't pass a road test if they had to take one today. I am in a prime position to become a statistic every time I get on my bike, and drivers who shrug off their responsibility to be good at what they are doing, or who have an unrealistic opinion of their skills are in a prime position to make me into a statistic.
Take a look at your license and ask yourself if you could pass the test for each of the endorsements on it if you were put on the spot tomorrow. If your honest answer is anything less than a resounding "Yes", then please stay far away from me and my friends, we have enough good drivers to worry about.
This article was contributed by Jeremy of Vancouver Island Motorcycle School