Green light for driving lessons on motorways
Learner drivers will be able to have lessons on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual control car, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.
The Motor Schools Association of Great Britain (MSA GB) wholeheartedly welcomes this news. MSA GB General Manager, John Lepine said:
“We have been campaigning for learners to be allowed on motorways for over thirty years and it should be noted that this is not just a matter of safety on motorways for new drivers it is also about educating all drivers that motorways are the safest and most economical roads to use.
“Almost half of motorists know friends or family who avoid driving on motorways with more than one in 10 women saying that they themselves avoid driving on motorways due to nerves.”
Whilst no definite start date has been given the Department of Transport (DfT) state that the law change will be active from 2018, when learners will be allowed on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual control car. This will provide a broader range of real life experiences and better prepare learners for independent driving when they pass their test.
Currently learners cannot drive on a motorway until after they have passed their test. This means the first experience of motorway driving for many is as a new driver without the guidance of a driving instructor or the safety of a dual control car.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“The UK has some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.
“Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over twenty-five and lack of experience is an important factor.
“Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”
Improving road safety is a priority for this government, and allowing learners on motorways with an approved instructor will better protect young drivers and other motorway users. It will ensure the current generation of adults about to start their driving career have the best possible introduction to what should be a lifetime of safe driving.
DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, said:
“DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.
“Our roads are among the safest in the world, but we’re determined to do more to improve safety for all road users.
“We want to modernise driver training so that novice drivers gain the skills and experience they need to help them and everyone else to stay safe on our motorways.”
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.”
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.