Learner drivers will be allowed to have lessons on motorways from 2018

Learner drivers will be allowed to have lessons on motorways from 2018

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Learner drivers across England, Wales and Scotland will soon be able to have lessons on motorways.

From 2018, a learner will be able to practice on motorways as long as they are with an approved driving instructor in a dual control car.

The law change is set to come into affect next year.

Currently, drivers with provisional licences cannot go onto Britain’s fastest roads.

Although there are advanced driving courses, which provide instructor-led motorway for drivers who have passed their test, the cost of these can be off-putting.

For the vast majority of new drivers, their first time on a motorway and driving at the upper speed limit of 70 miles-per-hour happens without a teacher in the passenger seat.

The Department for Transport, which consulted driving groups ahead of the change in law and received “wide support”, believes it will make roads safer.

“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,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

“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.”

Learner driver Ellie Mason-Bush, 22, from Bristol is due to take her test next week.

She told Sky News she believes the law change is positive news for learners who feel nervous about motorway driving but who could not afford advanced driving lessons.

“I think it is definitely going to help,” she said.

“They say motorways are some of the safest roads you can be on, so it is not going to harm. Naturally it will slow the process down but, if it makes the roads safer, it is something we all have to get on board with.”

The RAC motoring body and the DVSA, the government agency which sets the driving test, have both welcomed the law change.

But some driving instructors have concerns about how safe it is.

Over a 10-year career, James, who did not give his full name, has taught hundreds of learner drivers.

Although it will not be compulsory for instructors to take their pupils on a motorway, James thinks the law change adds unnecessary risk.

“If we take learners to the motorway, there is a danger they might find they panic,” he said.

“They may go too slow, they may get intimidated. And if they do have a moment of panic, there is no way no pull over.”

For now, there are no plans to include motorway driving as part of the basic driving test – but the Department for Transport told Sky News that this is under review.

Earlier this year it was revealed that learners would be tested on how to safely use satellite navigation systems, as the Government moves ahead with plans to modernise the standard driving test.

(c) Sky News 2017: Learner drivers will be allowed to have lessons on motorways from 2018