Learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways before passing their driving test, under new plans set out by Transport Minister Andrew Jones.
Currently, driving lessons on motorways are only permitted after a learner driver has passed their driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.
Under the new plans, learner drivers would need to be:
- accompanied by an approved driving instructor
- driving a car fitted with dual controls
Any motorways lessons would be voluntary. The driving instructor would determine whether the learner driver was competent enough to have a motorway lesson.
Allowing learner drivers to have lessons on motorways would help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.
The changes would allow learner drivers to:
- get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
- get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
- practice driving at higher speeds
- put their theoretical knowledge into practice
Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.
“These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads.”
RAC Foundation Director, Steve Gooding, said: “The casualty statistics tell us that motorways are our safest roads, but they can feel anything but safe to a newly qualified driver heading down the slip road for the first time to join a fast moving, often heavy, flow of traffic.
“Many are so intimidated by the motorway environment that they choose instead to use statistically more dangerous roads, so we welcome this move which will help new drivers get the training they need to use motorways safely.”
Have your say on the proposals by 17 February 2017. Until any changes to the law are brought into effect, it remains illegal for learner drivers to have lessons on motorways.