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Law change could lead to a smarter generation of motorway users

Learner drivers about to take their driving test could get their first taste of motorway driving after a change in the law.

Highways England is predicting a smarter generation of motorway road users following a law change allowing learner drivers about to take their driving test to get their first taste of motorway driving.

In the past learner drivers’ first experience of driving at higher speeds had been limited to using dual carriageways and only when they had passed their driving test could they get their first experiences of driving on a motorway.

For some newly passed and inexperienced drivers this could prove to be a daunting and often frightening experience.

Now under a change to the law from June 2018, learners will be allowed to drive on motorways with an approved driving instructor (ADI) using a dual controlled car displaying L plates.

Highways England, the body responsible for Britain’s motorways and strategic A roads, says this law change will help develop a smarter generation of motorway road users.

It will allow approved driving instructors (ADI) to teach learners about the specific set of skills associated with using the motorways safely in a practical situation.

Head of Road Safety at Highways England, Richard Leonard, said:

“Safety is our number one priority and we welcome today’s change which will help equip learner drivers to drive safely on motorways when they have passed their tests.

“We look forward to supporting the motorway drivers of tomorrow as they develop these new driving skills and get invaluable practical knowledge and experience of using motorways.”

The changes will allow learner drivers to:

  • get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
  • get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
  • practise driving at higher speeds
  • put their theoretical knowledge into practice

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

“By allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, we are modernising driver training and making sure learners get the skills and experience they need to drive on fast, busy roads.”

The Department for Transport consulted on these changes in December 2016. They received wide support from learner drivers, the driver training industry and road safety organisations and the general public. These changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland only.

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