Learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on motorways from Monday 4 JuneWed, 07/03/2018
The DVLA have confirmed that learner drivers will be given access to motorways from 4th June this year.
Rob Hull, the Mail Online, reports:
Learners under the supervision of a trained instructor will be allowed to take lessons on motorways, and the date on which this will be permitted was finally confirmed.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the decision would help those with a provisional licence to 'develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently'.
As of Monday 4 June, learners in England, Scotland and Wales will be granted access to the fastest-moving roads the countries have to offer.
Under current restrictions, those with provisional licences can only have lessons after they’ve passed their test via voluntary Pass Plus schemes to help build their confidence on multi-lane highways.
But the new rule - confirmed in August last year - will mean any driver displaying L-plates who is accompanied by an approved instructor and driving a car fitted with dual controls can legally enter a motorway in a little over three months' time.
Instructors will decide when a learner is competent enough to have a lesson on a motorway, and drivers will get a say too, in case they don't feel confident enough at the time.
The qualified teacher also decides if they keep the driving school rooftop box on the car, though they will still need to display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle.
The changes will only apply to those learners on four wheels - anyone practicing to take their motorcycle test will still not be allowed to use motorways.
There will also be restrictions on who will oversee lessons, with trainee driving instructors blocked from conducting driving sessions on motorways.
And while learners will be allowed to practice on them, the DVSA says there is still no plan to have part of the driving test itself on the 70mph routes.
The Highway Code rules on motorways will be updated in line with the changes as well as learning materials given out to those preparing to take their test.
Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, said: 'The shocking fact is that younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over 25. Lack of experience contributes to their vulnerability.
'Allowing learners to drive on motorways, with the support of an experienced driving instructor, will help them to develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely, and it will prepare them to drive on them alone.'
The Department for Transport consulted on the changes in December 2016.
The move received widespread support from learner drivers, the driver training industry, road safety organisations and the general public.
The move follows the decision to make four changes to the driving test itself from 4 December 2017.
These included extended independent driving sessions, new manoeuvres and safety questions.
DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, added: 'DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.
'Our roads are among the safest in the world, but we’re determined to do more to make them safer.
'By allowing learners to have lessons on motorways, we are making sure learners get the skills and experience they need to drive on fast, busy roads.'
Last month, Theresa May said she would ask the Department for Transport to investigate the impact of graduated driving licences in an attempt to kerb the number of young drivers involved in accidents each year.
Motorists who have been on the road for two years or less could see restrictions on night driving, how many passengers they can carry, the roads they're allowed to use when alone and the power output of the vehicles they can drive.
It’s hugely important for learner drivers to gain as much experience on the roads as possible, and this includes motorway driving.