Learner drivers to be allowed motorway lessons

Patrice Gainsbourg
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.

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.

While motorways are the safest type of road to travel on, the bar on learners using them meant they tended to be tackled for the first time by newly qualified drivers, who would often be alone in the vehicle.

The Government consulted on the change earlier this year having announced its intention at the tail end of 2016 to lift the ban.

From next year, a change to the law will allow learners to drive on motorways, but only with a qualified driving instructor in a dual-control auto, said the transport secretary, Chris Grayling.

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But road safety charity Brake warned that the new measure does not go far enough to improve driving standards, saying that instead newly-qualified drivers should be required to take additional motorway lessons.

"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", Grayling said.

The change will allow people who had not yet passed their test to drive on Britain's motorways with an approved instructor. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents also backed it, subject to safeguards of the sort outlined by Grayling.

Jasmine Halstead, head of learning and development for British School of Motoring, said the move would help stop motorists driving "incorrectly" on motorways.

Learner drivers are being allowed to use motorways for the first time as part of an attempt to improve road safety that includes a radical change to the driving test.

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