13/02/2012. “Syllabus for a moped theory test (cat. AM)”, the 2nd thematic workshop organised by CIECA, as the request of its members, was held in Brussels on 9 February 2012.
The objectives were:
to examine in detail the present conditions governing the use of mopeds in the member States;
to become familiar with the new measures likely to be taken as part of the introduction of the AM category on 19 January 2013;
to share current best practices and so make proposals for improving the content of Annex 2 of the 3rd Directive concerning mopeds and 2-wheeled vehicles generally.
The first point to emerge was that all the member States are concerned to further improve the safety of moped users. Although the AM category is one of the major innovations of the 3rd Directive, many member States have already adopted specific measures governing the use of mopeds: of the 28 member organisations, 25 already require the taking of a theory test, 13 a practical test, and 3 mandatory training.
Where the minimum age for using a moped is concerned, the most common age requirement is 16 (10 countries), then 15 (6 countries), then 14 (4 countries). This very important issue was also the subject of a presentation setting out the advantages and disadvantages of access at age 14 and age 16. The participants agreed in concluding that determining the legal age might depend on a number of factors, not only technical but also cultural, administrative, legal, economic, social and political.
Whatever age is decided on, the most important thing where road safety is concerned is the need for young moped users to be carefully prepared, by parents first of all, but also by trainers, teachers in the school setting, the police and society as a whole. Moreover, young people should commit to respecting certain essential rules, such as ensuring they are seen by other road users, carefully maintaining their mopeds and not over-revving the engine, wearing protective clothing (helmet, gauntlets, ankle boots…) and driving in a safe and responsible way.
To achieve this, quality training is essential.
For this reason, it was thought wise to supplement existing training by introducing such new topics as awareness of potential road hazards (e.g. loose gravel, grooving of the road surface, side-winds, patches of oil, drain covers…), and awareness of the principal situations likely to cause accidents.
Finally, it is worth noting that, although the statistical trend for accidents is fairly encouraging (the number of deaths among moped users in the European Union fell by 47% between 1999 and 2008), still 1,213 people (drivers and passengers) were killed in 2008, which is unacceptable, especially since most of the victims were aged between 15 and 19.
The proposals that will be formulated in the final report of this workshop are therefore very much in tune with a real problem of public safety.
Please click here to download presentations.