The government recently announced that learner drivers will be able to have driving lessons on motorways, providing they are accompanied by a qualified driving instructor, in a car that has dual controls.
For many new drivers, venturing onto the motorway for the first time can be daunting, and many will use alternative routes to avoid it.
The change comes with hope it will provide learners with confidence when it comes to driving on the motorway, broaden their driving skills, and eradicate the fear-factor that comes with driving on a motorway for the first time.
Any lessons on the motorway will be voluntary, and will be left to the instructor’s discretion to determine whether their student is ready.
The change has been welcomed by motoring experts, who claim many inexperienced new drivers are scared to use motorways in their early years of driving.
This can then lead to new drivers only using A-roads, where they are more likely to have an accident. Statistics provided by the RAC suggest that UK motorways are in fact the country’s safest roads, despite many new drivers thinking otherwise.
Andrew Jones, transport minister, said: “These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads.”
The current law means that the motorway is off-bounds until you have passed your test. Some new drivers go on to complete the voluntary Pass Plus scheme in order to gain experience driving on a motorway.
The change has not yet been implemented, and the government states the change in law will be well publicised before coming into effect. Until this point, it is still illegal for a learner to drive on the motorway.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has also set out proposals to improve motorcycle training, with potential changes to the compulsory basic training (CBT) course syllabus, restricting riders who take their CBT course on an automatic motorcycle to only riding automatics, and revoking the CBT certificates of those who get 6 penalty points.
The changes are part of the government’s plans to improve road safety across the country.