Learner drivers can now venture onto the motorway after new rules were officially introduced on Monday June 4th. The move is aimed at making new motorists more comfortable on motorways so they don’t have any fear of driving on them after passing their tests.
It was reported last month that the new rules were set to be introduced, though it initially received a mixed reaction from drivers, with some believing learners could be a danger to others and slow motorways down, and others claiming it was a positive step as new motorists will finally be equipped with all the knowledge and experience they need.
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The new rules are not mandatory for all drivers however, so only learners that feel comfortable and are eager to advance from A roads to the motorway will be allowed to do so during driving lessons. Instructors will also need to approved and have a vehicle with dual controls so they can intervene as and when necessary.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling said motorway lessons should improve road safety as young drivers are much more likely to be involved in an accident. They will now be able to drive in a “supportive environment” and gain a better understanding of driving independently on faster roads, which may cut casualties in the long term.
“DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving,” DVSA Deputy Chief Driving Examiner, Mark Winn said. “Allowing learners to practice on motorways with a professional instructor gives them the opportunity be taught motorway rules and etiquette properly, practice at higher speeds and will help make our roads even safer.”
Peter Harvey, National Associations Strategy Associations chairman added: “The partners in NASP are very pleased to see that learner drivers are, at last, being allowed to drive on motorways. Driver trainers have been campaigning for many years to be able to train learner drivers on the vital skills needed on motorways before they pass their driving tests.”
“We have been preparing for this announcement for quite some time and have been and continue to offer advice and training to our members on best practice when they take novice drivers on to a motorway for the first time. We have produced the guidelines which are available on the NASP website. We are keen to emphasise to driver trainers that they should only take learners on to motorways when the learner is ready.”
RAC road safety spokesperson, Pete Williams also welcomed the news after claiming the initiative was something that was supported overwhelmingly by motorists. He concluded: “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.”
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