§ Mr. Redwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what improvement in safety, as measured by the number of fatalities and serious injuries to motor cyclists, there has been from the restriction of motor cycle learners to 125 cc machines and from the restriction of 16-year-olds to 50 cc machines limited to 30 mph.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
The 30 mph maximum speed restriction for 50 cc machines was introduced in 1977. The number of 16-year-olds killed or seriously injured (KSI) on mopeds has dropped from 1,691 in 1976 to 789 in 1986—a reduction of 53 per cent. After taking account of the reduction in the number of registered mopeds in that period, the reduction in 16-year-old KSI casualties is 36 per cent.
The maximum engine size for learner motor cycles was reduced from 250 cc to 125 cc with effect from 1 February 76W 1983. A study by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory — RR 106 "The Effect on Motorcycling of the 1981 Transport Act"—suggests that the restriction on engine capacity for learner motor cycles has led to a reduction of one quarter in casualties even allowing for the declining number of motor cyclists. This is equivalent to a reduction of 7,010 in motor cyclist casualties during the first year the restriction was in force, 2,430 of whom would have been killed or seriously injured.