Learners to get motorway lessons from 2018

Published 14 August 2017

Learner drivers will be allowed to have lessons on motorways from 2018. The Government ruling lifts the ban that prevents provisional licence holders from driving on motorways, provided that they're accompanied by a qualified instructor and using a car with dual-controls.

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), young drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the road, compared to those aged 25 or over, with the majority of accidents taking place in rural areas.

The DfT hopes that the new rules will make young drivers better prepared and encourage them to use motorways, which it claims are statistically safer to use than A or B-roads.

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Andrew Jones Road Safety Minister said: “Encouraging more people to learn how to use motorways properly will benefit all drivers. Motorways are the arteries of the British economy and we need to keep them moving". 

The law change follows a 14 month public consultation and has “strong support” from both the public and driving instructors, with the DfT saying that 80 per cent of the 2928 responses were in favour of learners being allowed to have lessons on the motorway. 

Independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has welcomed the move, saying it will "deliver confident new drivers who are much better able to cope with complex smart motorways”.

However, road safety charity Brake has questioned the law change by saying there should be a legal requirement for all newly-qualified drivers to receive mandatory motorway lessons once they've passed their test.   

The news comes as research shows that the number of 17-year olds taking the practical driving test has fallen by more than 100,000, since 2007/08, while the overall number of young people (17-25) in the UK learning to drive has plummeted by 20 per cent.

Comments

Bicycle_Repair_Man    on 14 August 2017

It's bizarre that leaner drivers are forbidden from learning on roads that encompass a large part of our transport infrastructure. It's about time motorways were included in lessons, not to mention tests.

Next we need to include night-time and bad weather driving.

fudgepanda    on 14 August 2017

It's bizarre that leaner drivers are forbidden from learning on roads that encompass a large part of our transport infrastructure. It's about time motorways were included in lessons, not to mention tests. Next we need to include night-time and bad weather driving.

The Pass Plus scheme has been in existence for something like 15-20 years and includes motorways, rural roads, night driving and bad weather, although for someone who has passed their test in June, the last two are less likely to be covered as well as they would be in January, although the Instructor can discuss it if it's not possible to be covered practically. However, this has always been optional, and has a take-up rate that would be higher if it wasn't for fathers/husbands/boyfriends who think they can do a better job. They may well be able to, but I don't see much evidence that more than a third of drivers on our roads actually have the ability to pass on good practice.

Bicycle_Repair_Man    on 15 August 2017

It's bizarre that leaner drivers are forbidden from learning on roads that encompass a large part of our transport infrastructure. It's about time motorways were included in lessons, not to mention tests. Next we need to include night-time and bad weather driving.

The Pass Plus scheme has been in existence for something like 15-20 years and includes motorways, rural roads, night driving and bad weather, although for someone who has passed their test in June, the last two are less likely to be covered as well as they would be in January, although the Instructor can discuss it if it's not possible to be covered practically. However, this has always been optional, and has a take-up rate that would be higher if it wasn't for fathers/husbands/boyfriends who think they can do a better job. They may well be able to, but I don't see much evidence that more than a third of drivers on our roads actually have the ability to pass on good practice.

I took Pass Plus on the basis that I'd never driven on a motorway and wanted to gain some knowledge and experience before going out on my own. My point is, why should this kind of driving be optional when it's something that every driver will almost certainly experience?

conman    on 11 December 2017

No learner drivers on motorways full stop, pass your test first then as in some countries display a sign P or A, then you can take the Pass Plus course to learn on motorways. Already people drive on L plates on their own without having passed their test, just imagine them on the motorways. If life was perfect and people obeyed the law great but the idiots don't. Sooner or later you will find little Jimmy or Janet driving down the motorway with either their dad or a friend beside them, instead of a qualified driving instructor.

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