In a new bid to improve overall road safety, the government have revealed plans to legalise motorway driving for learner drivers, which will come into effect in 2018.
Currently, driving instructors offer the Pass Plus scheme, which allows newly passed drivers to take lessons on motorway driving. However, this is not a compulsory course, meaning many new motorists start driving on the motorway without any real practice or guidance.
Introducing motorway driving lessons will teach learner drivers how to drive safely on the motorway in preparation for when they pass their test. From 2018, the law will be changed to allow learner drivers to participate in motorway driving lessons. Nonetheless, putting these into practice will be a voluntary decision, made by a driving instructor. Learner drivers need to be comfortable and confident enough to start driving on these fast and busy roads.
Although deemed as the safest roads to drive on, learner drivers have never had the opportunity to test out their driving on a motorway, only dual carriageways and main roads. Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, agreed that this new change will be beneficial for UK road safety, saying: “Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”
These new changes to driving laws will only be applicable for learners when they are driving with their assigned instructor. If a learner driver happens to be insured on a parent or friend’s car, they will still only be allowed to drive on main roads, not on UK motorways.
So, how will this benefit road safety? This new change will see learner drivers becoming more familiar with travelling on motorways, helping new drivers to feel confident enough to start driving on the motorway soon after they’ve passed their test. Consequently, this change in the law will help to keep collisions at bay, and will hopefully lead to less road traffic accidents in the future.
Familiarise yourself with the rules:
– Only cars qualify for motorway driving lessons, not motorcyclists
– The new law only applies to cars that are fitted with dual controls, this is for driver and instructor safety
– A learner driver must be accompanied by a driving instructor, whose right it is to choose whether a pupil’s driving ability meets the safety criteria of driving on a motorway
– Motorway driving will not feature in the driving test itself