Eight in ten want improved bike training
Almost 80 per cent of the population of Bermuda wants to see improved motorcycle training, a survey has revealed.
The poll showed that 78 per cent of people were in favour of better training and only 22 per cent said there was no need for improvements.
The Global Research poll also found that 77 per cent of people said they had received sufficient training.
Orthopaedic surgeon Joseph Froncioni has campaigned for the introduction of a graduated licensing programme for almost 20 years. The measure is supported by the Bermuda Police Service, EMTs, anti-alcohol abuse charity Cada and road safety campaigners.
Project Ride which is confined to a car park and is only mandatory for Bermuda’s young riders, is the only extra programme available at present.
Dr Froncioni, a former chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said an internationally recognised qualification through an extensive graduated licensing programme was needed.
He said: “It is a no-brainer. I am happy that people realise that riding a motorbike is not an innate skill — it is a learnt skill.
“Other jurisdictions make you jump through training hoops to give you a motorcycle licence.
It is irresponsible to put 16-year-olds on a bike without proper training and, as I have said before, Project Ride is not proper training.
Dr Froncioni added: “We lobbied for years and years — the Government came out with the Bermuda youth licence which went into effect on April 1, 2010.
“The problem is they took what is a tried and tested method of dealing with new young road users and they diluted it.
“We have it on paper but it is unlikely to be doing anything significant because it doesn’t have the strength of the real intervention.
“The recommendations that we had through the Bermuda Road Safety Council as a White Paper was handed to the previous government and so all of the details of our recommendations have now been put in the hands of the new government.
Dr Froncioni said it would be easy to change the Bermuda system for young and inexperienced riders to a “tried and tested” graduated licensing scheme.
He added: “We have to fix the problems with our Bermuda youth licence and introduce a real motorcycle-riding course run by professionals.
“We do have a young Bermudian, Antoine Richards, who has taken the time and spent the money to go away and be certified by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents as a fully licensed professional motorcycle instructor. He has B-Moto — the Bermuda Motorcycle Academy.
“If the Government doesn’t avail itself of the necessary components that I and many road safety lobbyists have been asking for for years, it would be criminal.”
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