Motorists divided

Motorists divided over new laws for motorway driving lessons

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There has been a mixed reaction from drivers to the news that learners will be able to complete lessons on the motorway next month following the arrival of new laws, with around four in ten motorists claiming that the rite of passage should only be open to those that have already passed their tests.

There is now less than four weeks until the new laws pass into law. It means learner drivers taking lessons will be able to advance from A roads to the full motorway experience if they feel they are ready and driving instructors have a dual system in place. However, not everyone is happy that busy stretches across the country may soon feature learner drivers.

A survey by the Express has found that 42% of motorists believe venturing onto the motorway should be limited to drivers who already have their full license. In contrast, 44% of the 1,000 respondents surveyed said it was the right move as it would finally enable learners to get the experience they need to drive safely on the motorway after passing their tests.

Driving on the motorway is often a daunting prospect, even for those that have passed, but there is an appetite among learner drivers to address the challenge before they take a test. For driving instructors, the need to get the best driving school insurance is now of paramount importance in order to get appropriate cover to protect against potential accidents and other factors.

Middle lane hogging and slow driving is an irritation for many motorway drivers, so it is perhaps no surprise that 14% believe the presence of learner drivers will make it more difficult for them to travel at high speeds. Overall, drivers appear open to change though, as 70% admitted that if the new laws had been in place when they took their lessons, as they would have benefitted from the experience.

Servicing Stop CEO and founder, Oly Richmond said: “It’s quite a surprise to see so many drivers in favour of the change, I would expect a bit of a divide in opinion but it seems the pro-learners are winning the battle. I think any driver would benefit from learning on the motorway as it removes the fear factor involved and means in theory, we would have less accidents on the motorways as new drivers will be travelling with confidence and under guidance.”

The new laws will arrive on June 4, so it is still currently illegal for instructors to take learner drivers onto the motorway. For the next three weeks at least, learners will have to rely on Pass Plus courses for an official route to experience and knowledge for navigating the motorway network safely. When the new lessons come into force, they will also be entirely optional, so any learner will not be pressured into making the leap to the faster, busier routes unless they are happy to do so.


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