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BMF Lite!!

August 12, 2009
Very Refreshing for the Lite Lobbyist!!

Very Refreshing for the Lite Lobbyist!!


Loughborough, England – Looks like the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) once Europe’s finest motorcycle lobby group, now a latter day variation of the Titanic, has finally grounded on the sandbank of spin and petty inconsequence.

The BMF’s latest campaign involving the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agencies (DVLA) problems with ‘losing’ motorcyclists entitlement to ride when licences are renewed, suggests that the problem will be solved by returning the old licence (along with the new one) with the corner cut off.

Look there are people out there now who have lost entitlement to ride a motorcycle or scooter so how the hell is cutting the corner off of the old licence going to sort that. Can someone down at the BMF’s phone box, sorry HQ, in sunny Oswin Road, Leicester open the window and smell the coffee on this one.

Spinning the issue up with Motorcycle News (MCN), the Automobile Association (AA), the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) plus every other hanger on in the known universe on trumpet simple won’t solve it, or prevent a number of people being forced to take another test at the behest of the DVLA.

 Lets look at the facts:-

 DVLA issues 5.4 million replacement licences a year.

 DVLA holds current records for around 5.1 million motorcycle licences

A very educated guess indicates that around 125 people are currently in dispute with DVLA over their motorcycle/scooter licence entitlement.

The number of people disputing their entitlement has risen from 8 three years ago.

In short the numbers are not ‘hundreds’ as is being claimed but quite small. But if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a legitimate claim it’s a 100% deal for you.

Why’s there a problem:-

Simply fraud – people either trying to get entitlement added or claiming they already had it.

Failure to send in the test pass certificate after testing, this is quite common. However since 2004 you can opt to have your test pass registered electronically.

Failure to renew lice at the specified period – can mean the DVLA think you are dead and cleanse their files.

Computer errors – this is the root cause of the issue. Errors in the cleansing software at DVLA and errors in file exchange software following system updates.

The licence that we carry is not the actual proof of entitlement to drive, the entitlement is actually held on the DVLA’s system, thus if the DVLA system says ‘no entitlement’ you don’t have it, even if you know you have. Thus what’s the point in cutting off the corner of the old licence and returning it, as in itself that document does not prove you have entitlement.

The DVLA are in a hard place. They have a duty of care to ensure that only those who have passed a test for a licence category get a licence. Also they have a duty of care to ensure that customers with an issue get it solved.

What’s the solution? Easy, appointed an independent arbitrator to look at the available evidence and decide if the people claiming lose of entitlement to ride a bike actually took a test. The result to be binding on all parties.

So why haven’t we got an arbitrator now. Well three years ago the DVLA agreed to an arbitrator being appointed, I know as I was there. Unfortunately neither the DVLA nor the BMF would provide cash to pay for the service. So perhaps all the organisations shouting at the moment would like to solve the problem once and for all by agreeing to fund an arbitration service. I bet the DVLA would agree. But of course if all the groups shouting now did cash up they would lose out in the publicity hype and the ‘look what we are doing for you’ spin.

I’m off for a beer.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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