Learner drivers will be able to have lessons on motorways, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.
The changes will come into effect in England, Scotland and Wales from 2018, when learners will be allowed on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual-control car. However, an exact date has not yet been set and there are no plans to incorporate motorway driving into the driving test.
“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,” Chris Grayling said. “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.”
Commenting on the announcement, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Improved training before and after getting a licence is essential to improving road safety. But rather than allowing learner drivers on the motorway, there should instead be a requirement for all newly-qualified drivers to receive mandatory lessons, including on the motorway, once they've passed their test.
“There needs to be much wider reform to the learning to drive system, including a minimum learning period and restrictions for newly-qualified drivers, such as a late night curfew. This graduated driver licensing approach has helped dramatically reduce road casualties in countries including Australia, and could save lives here in the UK too.