It will be the first time ever that learner drivers have been allowed to drive on UK motorways
2018 is the year when a huge and important change to driving lessons will be implemented, as from this year, learner drivers for the first time ever will be allowed to drive on UK motorways.
The proposals were announced last year, alongside a number of other new changes which were made to the practical driving test. The idea behind the proposal is to allow young drivers the experience of driving on a motorway before passing their test to prepare them in advance.
It’s been revealed that a number of motorists are choosing to take a motorway driving course after passing their practical driving test, which currently is the only time when a new driver can experience driving on a motorway and have to use a scheme such as PassPlus to gain the confidence and experience required.
The new changes will come into effect sometime this year, however the actual date has not yet been confirmed but will be applied across England, Scotland and Wales.
Learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on the motorway in a car fitted with dual controls whilst being accompanied by a fully qualified driving instructor.
The lessons will be voluntary and the driving instructor will have to decide whether the learner is ready to take to the motorway yet for a lesson.
Once a date has been confirmed regarding the changes, examiners, instructors and drivers will be given an update, plus the Highway Code will be changed to include the new addition.
The change will enable learner drivers to gain experience of driving on UK motorways before taking their practical driving test; learning how to join and leave the motorway, how to use lanes correctly and overtake, as well as enabling learners to practise driving at higher speeds.
Not only will learner drivers gain the experience and confidence required before taking to the motorways, the changes should help to reduce the number of road accidents involving younger drivers with less experience.
“Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over 25, and lack of experience is an important factor,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
The decision to go ahead with the change has been welcomed by the RAC.
“While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test,” said road safety spokesman for the RAC, Pete Williams.
Mr Williams also added: “Giving learners the option to gain valuable experience on our fastest and busiest roads should further improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers.”
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