There will soon be huge changes to the law around driving on motorways
Laws regarding who can and can’t drive on the motorway are about to change.
Drivers are currently required to pass their test before they can get on the motorway.
But, from June 4, learner drivers will be given the option of taking voluntary lessons for driving on the motorway.
Driving instructors will be allowed to assist students who are at a ‘test-ready’ level. Learner drivers will still need to be accompanied by an instructor.
Cars will also need to be fitted with dual controls.
It is hoped that the shift in policy will make sure drivers know how to use the motorway when they pass their test.
Crispin Moger, CEO for Marmalade, a provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, said: “Our annual census revealed that motorway driving was the top ‘real life’ scenario that learner drivers wanted to experience (77 per cent), so allowing them access in a supportive environment is an encouraging shift by the government.
“I believe there is more that can be done in order to showcase a broader, realistic and practical perception of driving. For example in addition to motorway driving, night time (71 per cent) and rush hour (60 per cent) driving within lessons both featured as high priorities for learner drivers too.
“These are everyday occurrences for most road users so it is important learner drivers are armed with as much experience and confidence as possible before they are behind the wheel as a qualified driver.”
At the moment, drivers must undertake a Pass Plus scheme to experience motorways with an instructor.
The Department for Transport has received wide support from both learner drivers and driving instructors for the change next month. Amanda Green, an approved driving instructor, said: “So many people avoid driving on the motorway once they pass their test as it can be a frightening experience.
“Teaching learner drivers safely on the motorways is a good idea in principle but it is a very big jump from normal driving lessons. A motorway lesson in a one hour slot will be difficult and therefore will probably need to be offered within a two hour slot. I would only take my pupils on a motorway if I felt they were able to deal competently with dual carriageways and were capable of quicker reaction times.”
Crispin added: “Young drivers are statistically more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared to older drivers and one of the main reasons for that is lack of experience.
“Despite motorways statistically being the UK’s safest roads, they can be a daunting and complex experience, even for the more qualified driver. This development is extremely encouraging for learner drivers to practice driving at higher speeds, apply their theoretical knowledge and obtain the crucial knowledge and confidence needed for optimum safety when driving.”