High-speed learner drivers to be allowed on motorways

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

Since the UK's first motorway opened to traffic nearly 60 years ago, the nation's M-roads have been free of cars displaying the dreaded L-plate.

But road safety charity Brake claimed the move did not go far enough.

This means that the first experience of motorway driving for many is as a new driver without the guidance of an instructor or the safety of a dual-control vehicle.

Post-test motorway courses are available to teach the specific skills needed for driving on them, but government research found that only a very small percentage of new drivers were taking these.

Lesley Young, the DVSA's chief driving examiner, echoed a similar sentiment and said: "This change will ensure that new drivers, with their instructor, will experience motorway driving and learn about the importance of the signs and signals, lane discipline and joining and leaving safely".

It will apply only to cars, not to motorbikes, and only in England, Wales and Scotland.

Currently, L-drivers, who can begin lessons after their 17th birthday, may not drive on a motorway until they have passed their theory and practical tests.

Transport officials point out that young drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over 25, saying that lack of experience is an important factor.

The change will allow people who had not yet passed their test to drive on Britain's motorways with an approved instructor.

The move has also been backed by major motoring organisations.

The RAC welcomed Grayling's decision to push ahead with the change.

Learner drivers are to be allowed on motorways in an attempt to improve road safety, it was announced last night.

"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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