3DLD Amending Directive

In the early part of October Right To Ride reported on changes that had been proposed to the introduction of the 3rd European Driving Licence Directive (3DLD), in January 2013, which will see a new motorcycle testing regime introduced across Europe.

We at Right To Ride have been part of a stakeholder’s group in Northern Ireland which is looking at the introduction and the implementation of this directive as well as other related changes to the driving/motorcycle test and post-test arrangements affecting riders.

Some of these are “Proposed Changes to the Learner and Restricted Driver Schemes and on Graduated Driver Licensing” set out in a Department of the Environment (DOE) consultation from July 2011.

Some specifics from that consultation include the introduction of a learner logbook, taking lessons on a motorway whilst accompanied by an driving/motorcycle instructor; ADI / AMI, remedial courses if a person’s licence is revoked e.g. 6 penalty points within their restriction period; removal of 45mph restriction period post-test and while being trained and tested; introducing 12 month mandatory minimum learning period; restriction on young drivers (up to age 24) carrying young passengers (aged 14 to 20, except immediate family).

The motorcycle test introduced by the 3DLD with the requirements on training and with the recent introduction of CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) indicates that there are already changes in place or about to be put in place especially for young novice riders.

This is aimed to give the essential skills and knowledge capable of safely operating a motorcycle in normal traffic situations on public roads, above and beyond that for young car drivers.

Thus if there was a removal of the 45mph restriction period post-test and while being trained and tested in parity with car drivers, one could say there would be no requirement to introduce a 12 month mandatory minimum learning period.

Amendment Rules For Instructors

However the object of this article is to highlight changes recently introduced by an amendment in committee by the European Commission to the 3DLD.

This amendment, which was to take effect at the same time as the current directive was to be complied with by 31st December 2013 at the latest.

It would have changed the rules for what motorcycles riders could use to take the test on for an A2 and A licence category.

But more significantly it would have affected what motorcycles that instructors and training schools would need to purchase for riders to train on.

Training schools and instructors have been gearing up to invested in new motorcycles as set out in the current directive, because there were already rules in place for the type of motorcycle to be introduced in the 3DLD in January 2013. The amendment changed these rules to a different minimum power for test motorcycles of the largest motorcycles (category A) with an increase from at least 40 kW to at least 50kW and a minimum weight of 180 kg (unladen mass weight).

For A2 motorcycles the proposed changes would have decreased the minimum kW output for A2 motorcycles from 25kW (approx 33.5 bhp) to 20kW (approx 27bhp)

ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, pointed out that raising the minimum power for test motorcycles of category A from 40 kW to 50 kW would lead to an increase in costs for training and licensing and was unjustified.

The Department for Transport in GB stated that, “We did not support this change at such a late stage and raised concerns about the impact this would have on the industry. However, we were in the minority seeking a longer period for implementation from the Commission, and we have not been able to secure any longer period than the end of 2013. It is still possible the Commission’s plans will change as they are subject to EU Council and European Parliament approval.”

The Swedish riders organisation SMC (Swedish Motorcyclists Association) stated that, “The proposal was developed in secret by the Commission’s committee on driving licences, without feedback gathered from MC (motorcycle organizations or trainers.” adding that, “the proposal strikes hardest at those who already rejected most of the practical tests; women.”

This was also an issue raised by ACEM, “Referring to gender differences as regards motorcycle minimum weight, the European Commission furthermore risks being criticized for discriminating against women and citizens of small stature, who should be free to take their test on an appropriately sized vehicle.

There was a general call by ACEM, “on MEPs and Member States to reject the directive as a whole, allowing for stakeholders’ positions to be duly taken into account, and a compromise solution to be found.”

This was a call that we support.


The amendment has now been approved however there will be a longer lead in period, until 31st December 2018, for instructors and training schools.

This gives a further six years which would most likely see instructors and training schools changing their fleet due to use and age.

However at this stage riders still face the same issues in the amendment which remain in place.

Information & Links

SMC – (Swedish Motorcyclists Association) – www.svmc.se – translation availble on top right of website
Department for Transport (DfT) – Rider safety – Click Here
ACEM – On Amending the Directive – Click Here

nidirect government services – Changes to Driving Licence and Test:

New driving licence rules for mopeds, motorcycles and tricycles – Click Here
New rules for mopeds and motorcycles used for tests – Click Here

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  1. Amended Directive Confirmation
    Confirmation, as we originally reported on 31st October 2012, from the European Commission that there will be a longer lead in period before changes to the rules for what motorcycles riders can use to take the test on for an A2 and A licence category.
    “The Commission has initiated the necessary to adopt a legal provision by the first quarter of 2013 that gives Member States the possibility to continue to authorise the use of current category ‘A’ motorcycles until 31 December 2018, thus avoiding economic burden to the training industry.”
    If this had not happended instructors and training schools would have faced the possibility of changing their motorcycles in December 2013 when they had purchased motorcycles for the new licence introduction in January 2013.
    Full details – Click Here

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