COMPULSORY protective clothing for novices from next month?

1st July sees the spectre of compulsory protective clothing come one step closer.

This is not about Day-glo or reflective clothing, but rather ‘protective’ clothing.

You may remember that about a year ago, we wrote that the DSA was internally discussing compulsory protective clothing for candidates undertaking the motorcycle test, in light of all the accidents occuring during the new Module 1 test. Rather than consider the issue of why the accidents were happening, they’d consider refusing to let people do the test unless they were dressed in protective clothing.

Well July 1st is that date, after which, an examiner can tell those candidates who arrive ‘inappropriately’ dressed that their test won’t go ahead.

Is one examiner’s idea of appropriate clothing going to differ from another?

There is no legislation in the UK that specifies the wearing of anything other than approved helmets and eye protection. And there are no clothing standards in Europe that apply to the general public, as the ‘CE’ we often see, is actually in reference to the body armour.

Are the DSA rewriting the law now?

If it is a DSA concern that someone is injured on their premises, maybe they should provide the clothing they wish people to wear as the added expense of purchase may be a huge barrier to many people accessing what could be a cheap, congestion busting mode of transport.

Given that we are constantly told that injury levels on the test are in fact extremely low, why is there a desire to add this extra level of complexity at this time?

Maybe they are actually higher than we are being told?

Will the same controls be placed on CBT undertaking?

Is there a dispute procedure in place?

The list of what is OK and what is not, leaves a huge grey area.

The DSA say “the following is an indication of the minimum level of clothing acceptable:

    * motorcycle boots
    * sturdy footwear or boots that provide support and ankle protection
    * textile or leather motorcycle trousers
    * heavy denim trousers
    * heavy denim jacket with several layers underneath
    * textile or leather motorcycle jacket
    * motorcycle gloves

The following are examples of clothing that are not acceptable:

    * lightweight training shoes
    * canvas basket ball trainers
    * any form of clothing with areas of exposed skin
    * shell suit or lightweight tracksuit
    * distressed ripped jeans
    * lightweight fleece or hoody
    * no gloves or skiing gloves

What about ‘Derry’ Boots, that a thousand and one couriers use?
Who decides what is heavy (acceptable) or light (not acceptable?) denim jeans?
What about work/gardening/woollen gloves? Only ‘ski’ gloves are not acceptable. So you can see the potential pit falls developing.

We are endeavouring to find the answers to all these and many other questions, so we’ll keep you posted.