The much-anticipated government legislation allowing learner drivers to practice driving on motorways has been given the green light. With effect 4th of June this year it will be legal for learners to gain invaluable experience of driving on motorways, if;
- They are accompanied by a qualified driving instructor
- There are dual controls fitted to the vehicle
- L plates are clearly visible ahead and behind
Previously, the only student drivers allowed on motorways have been prospective LGV drivers and bus drivers.
Most newly qualified drivers have, over the years, learned how to drive safely on motorways by themselves (experimental learning) by giving it a go! Trial and error is fine in a safe environment, but this is not the case if driving at 70 mph in the right-hand lane of a busy motorway for the very first time.
It is up to driving instructors to decide when their learners have enough experience to be able to cope with the demands of motorway lessons and driving tests will not include routes containing motorways.
The governments objectives are for learner drivers to be able to:
- Get a broader driving experience before their test
- Be trained on how to join, leave and overtake on motorways
- Use lanes correctly (lane discipline)
- Practice driving at higher speeds
- Understand motorway signs and markings
- Deal safely with a vehicle breakdown
- Improve new driver confidence after passing their test
Learn Driving UK recommends that all our student drivers take a motorway-experience lesson at an appropriate point in their driver training programme.
Phil and Helen Hirst