Learner Drivers: Coming Soon to a Motorway Near You?
dated 03rd Jan 2017
It’s always been a rather strange anomaly that learner drivers in Britain are not allowed to drive on motorways as part of their driving instruction. However, as soon as a new driver has passed their test, they are free to immediately drive on faster and more hectic roads than they are likely to have experienced before.
Driving schools and instructors often encourage new drivers to undertake at least one motorway lesson once they’ve qualified for their full license but, let’s be honest, we don’t often hear of many people who do this!
All this is set to change, with the news that novice drivers will finally be allowed on the UK’s motorways while they are still learning, as part of a set of proposals put forward by ministers.
The proposals are sure to divide opinion; While the thought of learners on fast, busy motorways may cause concern to other drivers, it’s arguably a better scenario than seeing newly qualified drivers take to these roads for the first time with no supervision. There’s also concern that a lack of experience on motorways is causing some new drivers to choose minor roads for their journeys – roads where they’re actually statistically more likely to have an accident.
One detail that may put some minds at rest is that the proposal only involves learners driving on motorways under the supervision of trained instructors with dual-control cars. This means it won’t merely be a case of a family member slapping some L-plates onto a car and taking an inexperienced driver onto the M25!
Other Potential Changes
This law change is just one of a raft of measures the government has come up with to make Britain’s roads safer. There is also a plan to make all trainee motorcycle / moped riders complete a theory test before they can pass their Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). Furthermore, should all the proposed measures be implemented, motorbike drivers on a provisional license will be banned after just six penalty points.
The new measures don’t focus purely on new drivers. According to reports, ministers are also considering potential life sentences for people who cause death by dangerous driving as a result of using a mobile phone at the wheel – an offense that currently carries a maximum 14-year sentence.
Time will tell as to exactly what measures are implemented. However, reports suggest that some previously discussed proposals, including making youngsters wait until they’re 18 to pass their test, and the implementation of a mandatory 120 hours of supervised driving, will not be taken forward.
How do you feel about the prospect of learner drivers being allowed on motorways? Let us know in the comments.
IMAGE CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, PD