Learner drivers offered motorway driving lessons from 2018

Learner drivers offered motorway driving lessons from 2018
Motorway lessons will be made available to learner drivers for the first time, offering inexperienced motorists the chance to acclimatise to the UK’s fastest roads.

Announcing the law change, active from 2018, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said it will enable leaners to develop a “practical understanding” of how to use motorways before they become independent road users.

Welcoming the initiative – which applies to any learner accompanied by an approved instructor in a dual-controlled car – the RAC says an overwhelming majority of drivers will support the move.

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Currently motorway lessons are only available for those who have passed their test and feel the need for further tuition before tackling busy highways.

Released late last month, the government’s National Travel Survey 2017 reported that fewer young drivers are taking to the roads. It is hoped allowing access to motorways for pre-test drivers, will broaden their range of real-life experiences, better preparing them for a confident driving career.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “We welcome the news that learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on the motorway under the supervision of an approved driving instructor in a dual-controlled car, something that motorists we surveyed were overwhelmingly supportive of.

“While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test. 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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Improving road safety has been cited as a government priority.

Mr Grayling says the introduction of motorway lessons will ensure the current generation of adults about to set off as a driver are in the best possible place.

“The UK has some of safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer,” he said. “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.”

The Department for Transport consulted on these changes earlier this year, receiving wide support from both learner drivers and approved driving instructors. These changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland only.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.