Last summer saw the news that motorway lessons would become available for learner drivers, and, from next week, learner drivers in England, Scotland, and Wales are allowed onto the motorway, 60 years after the first UK motorway opened.
The new rule is part of a broader transformation in UK motoring including the changes made to the driving test in December 2017, the new MOT, and a tax hike on newly registered diesel cars. With many people embracing the new law for learner drivers, will everybody be so pleased?
Why change the law?
Figures from the Department for Transport show that inexperienced and young drivers are most at risk from road traffic incidents. Those under the age of 25 are up to seven times more likely to get serious or fatal injuries from a crash than drivers aged over 25. Despite motorway crashes only making up 4% of all road crashes and 5% of all fatalities, collisions on the motorway are often more serious due to high speeds.
Although the new law will improve driver education, a study carried out by car servicing company Servicing Stop found that 56% of respondents said they thought it was “dangerous” to allow learner drivers onto motorways, on the other hand, a RAC survey showed overwhelming support for the move.
Under current rules, learner drivers can only have motorway lessons after they’ve passed their driving tests. This is often done by taking the Pass Plus training, which covers motorway driving as one of its six modules. At present, only around 3% of new drivers take this extra training, even though it can reduce your insurance with some companies.
Until the law changes on June 4th, it will still be illegal for learners drivers to use motorways. Even when the law comes into place, motorway lessons will be voluntary and left to the driving instructor’s discretion to decide when their pupil is ready to move onto motorway lessons. Saying this, driving on the motorway won’t become part of the driving test, but it was decided to add it into lessons to increase confidence in learner drivers and prevent accidents.
The National Associations Strategic Partnership has produced best practice guidance for Approved Driving Instructors, but The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) won’t be providing any more training to driving instructors wishing to offer motorway lessons. Trainee driving instructors cannot take pupils on motorways; it is only the fully qualified who can, so parents teaching their children won’t be able to either.
Motorways are a weak point for drivers
Head of PR & External Affairs at the RAC, Pete Williams, feels that driving on motorways for the first time can be ”daunting” for many new drivers.
He added: “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.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says allowing learners to experience motorways under professional guidance will help them gain practical knowledge of how to use them in a safe environment before passing their test.
The new law will expose learner drivers to a wider range of new driving skills:
– how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and correct use of lanes
– practise driving at higher speeds
– recognition of motorway-specific traffic signs
– the procedure for a vehicle breakdown on a motorway
– dealing with high-sided vehicles
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said: “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.”
President of The AA, Edmund King, described a lack of experience of motorways as the “Achilles heel” of the learner driver’s tuition and said introducing smart motorways without hard shoulders has only increased the fears of motorway-shy drivers.
Not everyone has been as supportive of the changes, including former Director of Campaigns Jason Wakeford from road safety charity, Brake.
After the announcement last year he said: “Rather than allowing learner drivers on the motorway, there should instead be a requirement for all newly-qualified drivers to receive mandatory lessons, including on the motorway, once they’ve passed their test.”
He added: “There needs to be much wider reform to the learning-to-drive system, including a minimum learning period and restrictions for newly-qualified drivers, such as a late night curfew.”
Motorways still the safest roads
Even if you’re not a new driver, motorways can prove to be a nerve-wracking place. With fast-moving traffic, multiple lanes and slip roads, it’s possible to get caught off-guard. Without pedestrians or cyclists, statistics show motorways are still the safest roads on which to drive.
With so many motorists concerned with learner drivers on the motorway, how can we stay safe? First things first, be patient with them. Everybody had to learn to drive once, and it’s easy to forget that being well prepared and fast to react to events comes with the experience that learner drivers still need. As you should with any vehicle, keep a safe distance from the learner driver and increase the gap on wet, icy, or foggy roads. While it can be frustrating being behind a learner driver, remember you were once that driver whom everyone was getting annoyed at and pull back a bit.
What’s your opinion of allowing learners to drive on motorways? Will it help make motorways safer or lead to more accidents? Do you avoid motorways because you’ve never felt confident enough to use them? Tell us your views in the comments.
Not before time for learners to be allowed on motorways! I learned to drive in the early seventies, my dad took me along the then A85 between Perth and Dundee which was a dual carriageway with no grade separated junctions and lots of crossovers, far more dangerous than motorways and perfectly legal! I thought this was very good experience and no reason why learners should not get onto motorways after some basic training.
Wholeheartedly agree. My son was driving me just after passing his test and we got to a Motorway I was staggered that he had no clue on the slip road or how to overtake. Only one short dual carriage way where he learnt to drive. The experience should make them safer.
If learner drivers are allowed on motorways they should be taught how to join one correctly (eg. at a decent speed). They should also be taught about lane discipline. However, these two basic rules could be extended to at least 50% of motorway users at present.
I agree that they should be taught to join at a decent speed. So many drivers approach at 40 or 50 mph, making it hard to safely get on the motorway. Then there’s lane discipline, jumping in to the space in front of a car (left to allow for braking time) and travelling too close behind the car in front! I would say that at least 50% of motorists need re-training on motorway discipline.
We should follow the German practice. Class room training before a theory test, driving practice on non motorway roads and a test and finally driving practice on motorways followed by the final test. And don’t forget much of their motorway network has no speed limit and has has had smart motorways for a long long time and they are far smarter than ours.
Not much, just some. And carefully chosen to be suitable for the higher speeds. But it’s a far better system for producing competent, disciplined drivers.
Where did you get that 50% from? I was thinking it was more like 80%. Maybe it’s where you drive, the further north I drive from London the better the lane discipline seems to be. Too many on M25 seem confused about the 4th lane
You’re right. I think residents in the Home Counties still employ the habit of staying in the offside lane because of their pre-M25 experience of the N & S Circular where to use the nearside land was to risk being boxed in when encountering a parked vehicle or bus. That basically rendered the 406 a single carriageway. We have to stamp out this attitude that the nearside lane has the plague. Otherwise, what’s the point in spending billions widening the M1 to 4 lanes if everyone then moves over to the second lane putting it back to a 3 lane! Am surprised there hasn’t been an Highways Agency/Government TV educational advert, something which is decades overdue!
The Germans and the British both follow the same motorway rule “Drive as far to the right as possible”
Um – but we drive on the left, and the Germans on the right…
Exactly… get it?
Whereas now, of course, on a so-called ‘smart’ motorway we risk being boxed in by a broken down vehicle with no hard shoulder to retreat to, and traffic behind us moving very much faster than the good old North Circular. I dread breaking down on a motorway these days. I’m surprised our Health and Safety friends haven’t insisted we keep the hard shoulder everywhere.
Smart motorway with no hard shoulder should have the nearside lane closed in normal traffic and only opened in congested traffic when the speed is 50 or less with a 50mph speed limit.
Problem I find on busy motorways is getting boxed OUT, not in. This happened to me on M62/M60 east to north junction where vehicles were hammering up the nearside lane (I was doing 70!) so I could not pull left unless I accelerated to 80 or 85 when I was running out of road. The other problem I find is the nearside lane is full of HGVs so close they obscure the signs and I do not see my junction until it is too late. What will happen when we get HGVs in convoy 5 metres apart as in Germany?
I agree what you said about the 4thg lane. people who have driven for how ever long on motorways, don’t know how to use lane 1, on any motorway
Just another excuse for people to sit in lane 2 doing 70 mph holding up traffic and causing frustration to drivers behind them.
I like that – holding up traffic – at the speed limit! But with modern vehicles the 70 limit could be raised in suitable areas.
If they are doing the speed limit how the **** vam they be holdimg up the traffic? Only way is if the the people around them are breaking the speed limit – so, who is in the wrong and the actual danger on the road then?
If you are being held up at 70, you are breaking the law.
I see a lot of people use lane 2 and 3 for no apparent reason when they could and should always move left. Sitting in the middle lanes is dangerous.
so is repeatedly changing lanes in and out
Approach at 40-50, more like 30, causing mayhem, many assuming they have an automatic right to just pull out and join at will!
The very first day my daughter passed her test before there was any show me tell me I made her change a wheel and went through the oil water etc checks with her I then took her on the motorway and taught her to enter, leave, overtake to be more observant of her blind spots, to be alert to being in a lorry’s blind spot. Knowing that motorway driving would be her most common route.
I was lucky enough to learn in an area that allowed easy access to the old A74 dual carriageway, so plenty of opportunity to get experience of higher speeds, lane discipline, passing trucks etc. I was also lucky enough to be having supplemental lessons with my mum (at the time, a cautious driver who, unlike my dad, would allow you plenty of freedom, but advise when it was necessary) so I also gained plenty of experience of things like night driving, bad weather, country roads etc. I also spent time learning for my bike test, and that in particular does wonders for improving your observation skills.
Far too many people pass their test, and regard it as the end of the journey. When I passed my test, someone said that I was now an advanced learner. That’s just as true now as it was 20 years ago.
I might be one of the few people who think it’s a very bad idea to allow learner drivers on motorways. Having been an instructor for 40 years. I think it’s a dangerous decision. There is little an instructor can do to avoid an accident without the use of an accelerator which on motorways is sometimes necessary. Learners can be unpredictable and do cause other drivers to be impatient. Mix that with foreign lorry drivers as an example, who have little idea how to use our motorways and it could lead to danger and mayhem. I do think motorway lessons should be mandatory within a year of a person passing the driving test when the person has more experience and confidence. It would be an unfair and unsafe decision for an instructor to make when deciding if a pupil is ready to try a motorway. The test failure rate is above 50% on normal roads so how does that make motorways safe for any inexperienced learner? Watch this space……..
As an ADI you’d not take a pupil on m way until they were competent and confident on dual c ways so you’d be simply developing existing skills. I would personally have concerns about any instructor who didn’t grab this new opportunity whilst at the same time gritting their teeth about government’s reluctance to make this compulsory. If you don’t take your pupils onto a m way , when appropriate then you are doing them a disservice by not preparing them for driving on m ways and not preparing them for safe driving for life. Remember there are many drivers who are too frightened to go on m ways. Because they’ve never been helped.
No motorways in the Shetlands, long trip to get to one. I think the tuition should be improved, let she face it, how many drivers with even loads of experience can’t reverse.
I live in the countryside and the number of people who cannot reverse even a short way to a passing space is more than it should be. One person I came across recently continually veered off to the side into the bank which was at the start of the passing space. It got so bad that the driver behind me and myself eventually gave up and reversed 100 yards back to a junction to allow the c**p reverser to pass.
Could not agree more.
I have been instructing for 35 years and agree absolutely with your comments.
The worrying thing for me is the instructors out there that may think of it as an easy lesson and take pupils on the motorway that really shouldn’t be there yet.
Rubbish. Get yourself retrained or resign.
I think you’ll find Irish drivers drive just fine!
Why do the Irish always take it personal.
Rite Sharp is obviously out of her depth as an instructor and should resign.
It is you whole is out of your depth by a very long shot
While I wouldn’t say I’m fully opposed to mandatory motorway lessons, hell, I would benefit greatly. What about those of us who live 100 odd miles from the nearest motorway? Even more if you’re properly in the highlands. Compulsory lessons would be a massively unfair expense, unless subsidised.
Leaners on motorways seems a bit of a big step. We could avoid this situation by not allowing newly qualified drivers on motorways. They could display the green “P” for a year whilst gaining experience and then take additional motorway lessons and a further test for a full license?
I do wonder if this has been thought out properly.
sounds a good idea –
Rita, having done a driving test abroad and done the UK test so I could retain my foreign licence as the UK won’t do a like for like replacement as this only applies to car licences and below. I have to say the problem is not so much with learners on motorways but a problem with how he UK runs it driver training. They must introduce a requirement for passing a theory test and eye test before the issue of a provisional licence, thereby proving that you know the rules and your eye sight is good enough before allowing little Jonny behind the wheel.
What? Test failure rate above 50%.
What does that tell us all about the training that is being provided?
Some people would have a very long way to go to use a motorway, the nearest motorway to me is 40 miles away and what about in the north of Scotland and Wales I think that’s why it’s not been included in the test because it wouldn’t be practical in some areas
simulator practice first!!
I also don’t see any problem with this as long as it involves proper training in situations not encountered on A-roads, and it doesn’t simply end up as a box-ticking exercise on the ‘to do’ list.
As already mentioned a significant number of allegedly experienced motorists don’t know how to drive correctly on motorways. This results from a combination of a lack of training and that the police seem to concentrate solely on speed as a misdemeanour, while turning a blind eye to all the other offences. It would be interesting to know how many people have actually been prosecuted for cruising in the middle lane. I suspect it is a very small number.
Of course, none of this will deter the professional motoring idiot from bad driving, but should at least reduce the instances of people driving badly just because nobody has told them how to do it correctly.
As for those who disagree with the new rule, is a driver on their own in a car who has just passed their test any safer than one about to take their test, accompanied by a so called responsible person?
Just think of the amount of money which could be made from prosecuting middle lane hoggers, and those who stay in the outside lane of a dual carriageway because they need to turn at the next roundabout – a mile or more from where they are, with nothing in the inside lane! (I saw this several times a day whilst on my way to work, prior to my retirement. Still drives me insane, and so do middle lane hoggers 😡.) Not sure where I stand on this new idea. I have a feeling it could be a recipe for disaster, though I’d like to be proven wrong. What I do think is necessary is, after the test is passed, a certain number of lessons have to be taken on a motorway before you gain your full licence. My elder son didn’t take Pass Plus, but my younger son did. They are both excellent drivers, and my elder son now lives in the States and passed his test to drive the yellow school buses. (He has said how appalling much of the driving is out there… I’ve not been courageous enough to attempt it yet, even though I passed my test nearly 50 years ago – in the hand signal days!)
I use the motorway pretty much every day and genuine middle lane hoggers seem to be quite rare, if I’m in the middle lane doing 70 it doesn’t make me a middle lane hogger it makes you an impatient ass too lazy to turn your steering wheel slightly to join the outside lane or wait a few seconds for a gap.
well said – and getting in lane well in advance is good driving practice, at 70 you have covered a mile in less than a minute, and AnnE wants us to change lanes twice to save her 50 seconds!!!!!! – Get a life and think of others who are more careful than you are.
“…..driving on the motorway won’t become part of the driving test, but it was decided to add it into lessons to increase confidence in learner drivers and prevent accidents.”
Now would that be because examiners are terrified at the prospect of taking an inexperienced driver on a motorway?
Exactly, of course that is the reason. I wanted to include that in my rant, but didn’t want to go on forever.
I think it might also be due to the fact that a driving test is only 40 minutes and some counties don’t have motorways meaning it’ll take 3+ times longer to complete a driving test…
And about time too, learner drivers should as part of their education be taken on a Motorway with their instructor, what a nonsense that you pass your test and are free to join a motorway having never driven on one !
It would give the pupil the opportunity to understand and learn how to join a Motorway correctly, choose the correct lane and appropriate speed, not just put an indicator on and hope for the best !
I think that Pass Plus is essential. My daughter wants to learn to drive and I’ve insisted that when she passes her test she must then do Pass Plus. I am terrified of her driving on motorways, etc without proper tuition. I was on the A12 recently and a very young driver joined from a slip road at speed expecting me to move over when there was nowhere for me to go. A disaster was narrowly avoided.
As for indicating, indicators seem to be an optional extra now, and when people do use them it is often incorrectly so I have no idea where they are going. It is guesswork now.
You can blame the likes of RoSPA and the like for the lack of indicting. We have RoSPA course at one of my previous places of employment. The instructor made the statement ‘We would rather you observe than indicate’ and also said that only parts of the highway code that said ‘Must’ were legal requirement.
The fact is if you don’t indicate, people around you have to make assumptions and as may peoples parents would have told them ‘assumptions are dangerous’
It is time the authorities tool out the word ‘Should’ from the Highway code and replaced it withe ‘Must’ . In addition the reference to it being guidance should be replace with the phrase ‘The Highway Code is a lay interpretation of the Law’
Many people nowadays seem to think that when they run out of slip road they have a God-given right to join the main carriageway, regardless of the weight and speed of traffic already on it.
Dose that mean Learners with a instructor or can a learner on their own
It has to be with a fully qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled car
Learner with a fully qualified instructor. So no parents/friends taking them on the motorway, and absolutely nobody on their own.
Yes they will learn a lot faster.
I would think,to take to a motorway when it is not so busy, as you could imagine the idiots with HGVS and reps trining to get 2 days in one, idiot ho speed they will not give a dam for the learn driver and passenger yes all drive carefully and it would work fine
Learner drivers vary in experience and ability. I fear that some learners will be putting other motorway drivers at risk because they will not have enough experience to react appropriately at high speed to motorway incidents which can lead to accidents. I think the law should only allow them on motorways when they have had at least 6 months driving experience.
I believe the pass plus should be made compulsary and new drivers should only be allowed on the motorways without supervision after taking the pass plus, my daughter took it and saved nearly £400 off her insurance so there is plenty of incentive to do it. As a lorry driver I find people who drive to slow on the motorways to be the most dangerous as when you pull out to overtake them the vehicle behind does not see them till the last minute.
Alan as a lorry driver you should know that you will have to overtake a slow vehicle in front, so therefor you should indicate in plenty of time before pulling out then the vehicles behind you should either pull out or reduce their speed, once again it is people being impatient
It could also be of lorries not moving over when cars
coming down slip roads at 50mph
Pass Plus should be made a requirement before drivers can use the motorway system. A ‘P’ badge could replace the ‘L’ plate once the basic test is passed and then, after Pass Plus, the ‘P’ badge could be removed.
I just hope that the experience gained is not to the short term detriment of the rest of us. In principle of course it’s a very good idea but because of the high speeds involved . This type of driving should be carried out as a short course with question and answers to increase awareness before rather than immersion at the deep end.
The pass plus is an expensive extra and I think it cost enough for the driving lessons theory test and driving test so I think it’s a good idea to incorporate motor way in with lessons when the L driver is competent and confident
Pass Plus is extremely cost effective training programme , providing 6 hours’ post test experience on m’ways dual c’w rural roads i, town/city driving and adverse weather. All valuable, and taken out of pupils local test/training area. That experience will provide much needed exposure to new and varied traffic situation and therefore increases skills and confidence whilst reducing risk of having a crash. In what way can that be seen as expensive??
Not expensive when you consider how many accidents or deaths and injuries proper motorway training would prevent.
iirc, when I passed my test 40 yrs ago, new drivers could display a P plate or similar to show they were newly qualified, but it was an option, and not many wanted to be branded as a new driver.
I agree with Colin, not only should they learn to drive on Motorways with Pass Plus but they should have night driving and learn to drive a different car to the one they passed their test in, to show the different handling between vehicles.
I had to do certain amount of eve/night driving, dusk I was informed that was a dodgy time as eyes need to acclimatise to conditions
As with anything “voluntary” a few will take it up but many will not due to the extra cost in lessens. It should be compulsary and form part of a test. But dont forget forgwt driving better to be able to use a satnav………NOT bloody stupid .
Regarding the change in law to allow Learner Drivers on the motorways; if they are taught correctly it may not be a bad thing. Unfortunately at present we have a multitude of experienced drivers who do not adhere to the current laws on driving on the motorways i.e. lane discipline, joining and leaving motorways, and the basic for all driving manoeuvres, mirror – signal – manoeuvre if safe to do so, for many drivers of all ages this basic appears to have been forgotten.
On top of this comes lights in bad visibility etc. When I use motorways, my biggest complaint is lane discipline, I have to alter my driving to accommodate drivers who sit in the outside lanes! Many drivers can be seen joining a motorway and make straight for the middle lane, they will stay there regardless of what speed the lane is proceeding at! I.E. 50mph to 90mph! Then when they want to turn off the congestion starts to build up especially on the M25.
AS stated previously if taught correctly it may be a good thing, alas I have witnessed drivers under tuition failing to indicate etc!
My problem is drivers who constantly move from lane 2 to lane 1 and back again, repeatedly cutting me up by pulling in and out of my safe space. Lethal is what I call them.
In the US (or in Colorado at least), once you pass your theory, you can drive on any road, including the Interstates, so I am all for this new law as it helps to build your experience. And you don’t have to show any L plates there. I think part of the problem is when people see an L plate, they drive like an a**e to try and get past.
Yes this is a good idea, I learnt to drive when I was 19 and I moved from the south coast to London just weeks later. Motorways were a non-issue for me because I grew up driving from London to the south with my parents and I was just used to motorway etiquette. I’ve since driven over 200,000 miles in the 6 years since passing all over the country and continent through the majority of European countries, every time I get back from Germany it staggers me about how poor the driving on our motorways really is.
My issue is that where I live in on the coast in East Sussex there are no motorways. You have to travel for over an hour to get to the M25 at Sevenoaks, over an hour to the M23 past Brighton or an hour to the M20 at Ashford. Either way before you’ve even reached the motorway the average driving lesson will be over…
It’s actually ridiculous to expect new drivers to be able to drive unsupported on motorways with no or little prior knowledge or experience.
Motorways are actually statistically safer than driving in cities or towns and I hope such training (which IMHO should be compulsory) will help to improve overall road safety.
In my experience learner drivers should pass their test. Then have a mandatory motorway test before being allowed on the roads by themselves. This is how I did it. It gave me the confidence straight away.
The article should make clear that to practice on motorways, learner drivers will need to be (a) accompanied by an approved driving instructor and (b) driving a car fitted with dual controls.
When my kids passed their driving test the first thing I did was take them onto a motorway. First of all demonstrating the subtleties of entering, exiting, and lane discipline. Also getting them to expect other drivers not to know how to do these things. Finally getting them to show me it had sunk in.
I then had less worries when they went on journeys.
It should only be permitted if they have had a pass plus lesson AND have P plates clearly visible on both back and front of their vehicle for a period of time. I will be giving any new driver a very wide clearance for lane changes and overtaking. Is there any guidance on new or learner drivers speed limits? Not a reassuring change to the law at all.
I agree with learner drivers having some experience on the motorway and the driving instructor to make sure that the L driver is very competent confident and very near to taking there driving test
EVERYONE should have compulsory lessons (ie the Pass Plus) on how to drive on fast roads like Motorways, but only AFTER they have passed their intitial driving test and had a year’s probation to gain confidence etc. Then a ‘P’ plate should be used so that other road users are aware that these drivers are new to motorways.
People need to be able to judge distance and speed and not to ‘tailgate’, how NOT to be a dangerous ‘middle lane hogger’ and how to changes lanes correctly on the motorway. It is only through education that people will feel safer and have the courage to drive on motorways, both in the UK and abroad, and for knowing the rules on motorways, traffic signs etc Driving too slowly on a Motorway can be just as dangerous as driving too fast…judge your distances!
Cars over 3 years old legally have to have an MOT…no problem!, but sadly the person operating this ‘fast and dangerous machine’ is never legally required to have a ‘regular MOT’….a big problem, especailly when cars, and roads have changed dramatically over the last 30-40 years!!!
I passed my driving test in 1968 in Holland – so 50 years ago. It was compulsory that you had been on a motorway at least twice with a qualified instructor whilst learning. And during the test with the examiner you HAD to go on a motorway and do the speed limit. I appreciate that in Holland no-one is more than a few miles from a motorway. But “56% of respondents said they thought it was “dangerous” to allow learner drivers onto motorways”? Incredible. What century are people in the UK living in? Often other countries have better arrangements than we do. But UK legislators and politicians never, ever seem to check out how things work elsewhere. Because sometimes they are better.
Learner drivers should have to pass their test first. Then after that they should have to have 4 compulsory lessons taken out by an instructor onto the motorways with an issued certificate in motorway driving before the DVLA isses the full driving licence That would make it safe for everyone.
Nonsense – Linda has the right idea.
Can some explain how an NSL dual carriageway differs from a motorway, except from roundabouts and slip roads. You can’t even compare the M25 to the M6 around Birmingham or the M74 on the outskirts of Glasgow.
If it’s not compulsory, who is going to shell out even more money on lessons which won’t help you pass your test.
What I think should be compulsory is for new drivers to display a P plate to inform others they have only passed their test.
Like they do abroad (in France for example)
shorter slip roads so joiners cannot match speed even by flooring it, right turns across the central reservation, exit slips so sharp you have to slow to 30 in the slow lane, pedestrians, cyclists – need I go on? Come on Colin – look around … …
Good idea but as mentioned in previous posts motorway driving should be part of the test and compulsory, otherwise how are we going to educate those newer motorists as to the rules of the highway code etc? There are too many qualified drivers that don’t know how to behave on motorways so at least they will be taught how to.
We need to eliminate middle lane hoggers, drivers driving too slowly on a slip road and cross laners who duck and dive between lanes in order to gain a few feet.
Unbelievably stupid idea. This could cause massive pile ups with normal drivers losing their lives. What if I am driving at 70 in the centre lane and the ‘Learner’ pulls out into my lane without considering the speeds, a potential nightmare.
You have just described a lane hopper, and this is what we are told we must all become so that speeders can save a few seconds.
No learner driver should be allowed on a motorway until they have demonstrated complete proficiency on other roads. With speeds up to 70mph, any slight error by a learner driver could have catastrophic consequences.
I think that motorway driving tuition should be confined to those who have already passed their test and been driving for at least 6 months. Motorway driving is a completely different thing to non motorway driving.
I agree learner drivers should have motorway experience, but only when they’re near the end of their training ready to take their driving test, and only with a qualified driving instructor in a proper dual-control car, not with just any person who has a driving licence.
I’ve been saying for years driving instruction should include Motorways and skid pans. To pass your test, then be allowed access to a fast moving, multi lane road can be quite scary, as can taking the necessary action to recover from a skid without practice or training
They should not be allowed on motorways until at least 6months after passing their driving test and taking a motorway specific driving test.
We don’t have any motorways (thank goodness) within 50 miles of where I live in North Yorkshire. Any bright ideas – oh wise people in Government – where we are going to carry out this new requirement? The driving schools will be absolutely delighted, a one hour lesson has just been turned into 3 (or maybe 4).
I agree learners need to learn how to join and drive motorways but it’s a scary thought. I agree with one of the other comments, do it in stages i.e. pass a test driving on A roads then move onto motorways. I know there will be a cost but there shouldn’t be a cost put on lives. My son is learning to drive at the moment and I’ll definitely be going with him the first time he uses the M25, it’s ok once he’s on it but getting on at South Mimms is a nightmare for the most experienced drive let alone a newbie
I meet so many drivers who just do not know how to enter a motorway or even a crowded dual cariageway safely I am surprised there are not more accidents. Only this week I encountered two occasions when I was forced to brake hard, despite slowing down, when a driver entered infant of me driving atr less than 60mph when the average lane speed was inexcess of 60mph! On neither occasion did either driver attempt to accelerate into the gap that I had left for them. On one occasion I was forced to brake quite hard when the driver actually slowed down even more!
Training definitely required by many people on how to enter both dual carriageway and motorway conditions safely.
One of the most important lessons will be teaching learners how to join the motorway.
It’s dangerous enough even after having 47 years experience on the motorways. This will undoubtedly cause some very serious accidents and the RAC should be ashamed of themselves.
Maybe Audi drivers should also be taught how to drive properly on motorways as well
Driving on motorways is still dangerous even after having 47 years experience. This will undoubtedly cause some very serious accidents and the RAC should be ashamed of themselves. It should perhaps be part of the driving lesson process and so they can learn what to do properly, but should be after they pass the basic test. You come across drivers all the time on motorways who have no idea what they should be doing and with all the complicated junctions and very poor signage, speed traps, road works, lorries and everything else to contend with it is very very confusing and dangerous. They need to think this one through again I’m afraid.
Anthony Marsh is talking nonsense and is not qualified to comment authoritavily on the subject.
Yes John I agree with your support of the changes. My first motorway problem was joining and also my surprise when I first came across static traffic.
It is mandatory in some European countries to have experienced both motorway and night driving prior to taking the driving test, with minimum hours for each type of driving. The standard of motorway driving is generally much better than the UK with far better lane discipline. This must be due to receiving mandatory instruction on motorways prior to being tested!
In January this year, I had a two-hour motorway driving lesson with my instructor, 2 months after passing my test (third time). I didn’t go on a motorway until I’d had that lesson and have been on a motorway multiple times since. It helped my confidence and I would highly recommend it for all who have recently passed or are a bit more cautious. This change will definitely help to improve confidence for drivers.
Many learner drivers only do around 20 mph in a 30 mph limit, but only for a few Months. That is the equivalent of doing 46.66 mph on the motorways. Oh dear. How many people are going to die because of this new rule?
Good idea. However, many drivers do not have a clue about overtaking (they take too long) or about use of lanes (hogging the middle lane). Don’t get me started on use of Smart motorways! The drive-on-the-left-rule seems to have been abolished in a lot of minds!
Everyone one should have to have a retest every ten years!
Typical Smart Motorway – no hard shoulder, the occasional ERA: lane 1 full of HGVs tailgating, lane 2 full of cars ‘hogging the lane’ at 70, lane 3 nearly empty, lane 4 full of cars doing 90 — do I exaggerate? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Many experienced drivers don’t use motorways properly either – failing to get up to “motorway speed” on slip roads; failing to check if the access is clear when exiting a slip road onto the motorway proper, centre-lane hogging, tailgating, etc. Anything that wil make better drivers, motorway or otherwise, is to be commended
Add to that people in the left hand lane of a motorway not leaving spaces as they approach an on ramp or by moving to the second lane.
It was not law but taught a best practice and that was in a country often referred to, by the UK and EU, as 3rd world.
I cant believe so many of you are in favour of this. On the back of most L cars it sais ‘warning this vehicle may brake suddenly’ Totally ludicrous decision, I await the carnage.
The problem will not be with qualified instructors teaching the students on the motorway it will be mum or dad giving little Jimmy or Jenny a quick go!! No L plates on motorway. And whose going to Police this? Answer no one .
I guess the problem here is inconsistency. It won’t be possible for everyone to have chance to practice with an instructor on a motorway due to location, so it could never be a compulsory part of the test. Then if all learners are assumed to have experience in this it will create a false assumption of motorway competence/experience for P plate drivers and recent passers.
There is an assumption that everyone has driving lessons. I took my motorbike test and then later borrowed the family car to take my car test. Never had a single lesson. Surviving on a motorbike teaches you far more than a driving instructor could. Other people may have experience and licence from overseas. They probably don’t need lessons either
The law should mandate a minimum standard that certifies you as capable of driving safely. It should not require you to have lessons.
I’ve said for years that everyone wanting to learn to drive a car should spend a full year on a motorcycle first – not just a few months in the summer when the weather is decent. You learn so much more on 2 wheels that you ever will on 4, about surface conditions, road positioning, being invisible to other drivers, etc. I started in 1964 on a moped, then motorcycles, with no interest in cars until I had a boyfriend with an ancient Landrover. He taught me to drive in it – no need for professional lessons then, of course – and when he fell asleep while I was driving in fog I decided I was ready for the test. I went on to pass my IAM advanced test in it too.
Sounds as though you were a thoughtful and defensive motorcycle driver – there are not many about. I dread to think what most m/c drivers would be like when they get into a car.