From 19 January 2013 a new Directive the third European Directive on - driving licences -tEU3-B) (2u06!126/EC) - will come- into force. This new legislation, which is aimed at improving road safety, will change driving licence rules in Northern Ireland.

The changes include:

new style design and format of the driving licence;new moped and motorcycle licensing categories (including minimum age requirements);new minimum test vehicle requirements for mopeds and motorcycles;new rules for car drivers towing trailers;an increase in the minimum age to 24

for non-professional bus drivers; andnew validity periods for bus and lorry drivers

The introduction of the new moped and motorcycle categories will have a direct impact on the motorcycle industry and will also impact on Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). All learner riders must continue to complete CBT,however the following conditions will apply: Learner riders of mopeds (category AM) and light motorcycles (category A1) with a CBT certificate can ride unaccompanied on the public road for the validity of the CBT certificate or until they have passed their moped or motorcycle test.

A candidate who has passed a moped test will not require CBT for
category A 1 .

If a rider has completed CBT on a moped or A 1 motorcycle, they will be required to complete an additional CBT course on an A2 or A motorcycle as the rider will not have been trained at speeds in excess of 45mph. Learner riders of medium sized motorcycles (category A2) or large motorcycles (category A) with a CBT certificate cannot ride unless accompanied by an AMI at all times when riding on the public road.

Learner riders of medium sized motorcycles (category A2) or large motorcycles (category A) will not be restricted to 45 mph while being trained and tested but must display "R" plates. If a candidate has passed an A 1 test and gained two years experience they will not require CBT for A2 or A (provided the CBT certificate is valid for the transmission type of the motorcycle test to be taken and they meet the relevant age requirements) as they will be have been able to gain one-year's post-test experience riding at speeds in excess of 45mph.