A new sight on Britain's motorways
From the 4th June 2018, we may be seeing learner drivers on the motorway for the first time. Under current law, learner drivers are prohibited from driving on the motorway. With the aim of improving the safety of motorway driving, the UK government is allowing learner drivers to take lessons with an approved instructor on motorways.
Some drivers may have completed the voluntary Pass Plus scheme which does teach learner drivers how to drive safely on motorways, but most road users will not.
However, it will not be compulsory for learners to take motorway lessons, and it will not form part of the practical exam. Any lessons will be at the discretion of the instructor when they deem the learner competent enough for motorway driving.
Lessons will also need to be carried out by an approved driving instructor and in a vehicle fitted with dual controls.
As with all learner drivers, L plates will need to be displayed clearly at the front and rear if the instructor decides to remove the rooftop box often seen on instructors’ cars.
Advice to other road users is no different to seeing learners on any other road – allow plenty of time and space around them and be wary of the driving conditions at the time.
These changes allow learner drives to experience motorway driving with a trained instructor before they enter off a slip road for the first time on their own. Motorway driving can be very different to other roads, so the learner will experience joining and leaving a motorway safely, driving at higher speeds, the correct use of lanes and improving confidence before driving on the motorway unsupervised.
For more information from the government, read the article here from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. The highway code will be updated to take account of these changes.
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