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Riders hurt by new emergency stop

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Motorbike riders are ending up in hospital after attempting a controversial new `swerve and stop` manoeuvre during their motorcycle exams, it has been claimed.

As many as 11 people have been hurt since the introduction of the new test in April, with three of them requiring hospital treatment, according to shadow transport minister Robert Goodwill.

The manoeuvre involves learners bringing their vehicles to speeds of up to 50km per hour (31.2mph) and then performing the swerve on a special test centre track.

The move is aimed at teaching riders how to avoid an obstacle while travelling at speed, and could save life and limb - as well as the sometimes lengthy wranglings of bike insurance claims - in the event of a motorist stopping quickly in front of them.

But critics have claimed that even experienced bikers would struggle with such a manoeuvre on a wet road - leading to further injuries.

Mr Goodwill said during questions on future Commons business: "During the first three weeks of the operation of this test there have been 11 incidents, 10 involving injury and three people have had to be admitted to hospital.

"Could the Secretary of State for Transport, whoever he or she may be by next week, come and make a statement to the House so questions can be asked about this particular disturbing problem?"

© Press Association 2009