Here at Big Motoring World, we welcome the recent news that motorway driving is soon going to be allowed for learner drivers.
The UK Government has announced that from 2018, learner drivers will be permitted to hone their driving skills on the UK’s motorways – just as long as they’re accompanied by a qualified driving instructor. There are no plans as yet to add motorway driving to the test, as there are some areas of the country where accessing a motorway is too difficult.
A positive move
While a lot of people might be understandably cautious about letting drivers who haven’t yet passed their tests loose on our fastest roads, we think it’s a positive step forward. Motorway driving is a real skill, that requires the kind of control, awareness and fast decision making that new drivers often find difficult. It’s the kind of skillset that can only be learned with practice and experience.
Under the current situation, the first time that someone experiences this very different and demanding driving environment is often when they are driving for the first time alone, soon after their test. It seems pretty obvious that this far from ideal.
The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, explained the Government’s thinking behind the changes. “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.
“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.”
The RAC agrees – here’s what their road safety spokesperson Pete Williams has to say on the proposed changes. “While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test.
“Giving learners the option to gain valuable experience on our fastest and busiest roads should further improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers.”
We couldn’t agree more.