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The Department of Transport have announced they are considering allowing learners to drive on UK motorways with the supervision of an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) in a dual controlled car.
Whilst motorways are statistically the safest roads in the UK, they’re also a real source of anxiety and nerves for many motorists. It is currently illegal for any provisional licence holder to drive on a motorway, yet the moment a learner passes their practical test they are able to drive on a motorway, unsupervised, with no prior experience.
This may not be as much of a concern for learners who have a busy dual carriageway in their area but for many drivers who don’t the thought of motorway driving can be daunting.
The suggestion of UK learners having access to motorways is receiving a mixed response. It is important to remember that if the proposal does go ahead learners will only be able to drive on motorways when supervised by an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car.
In some countries, such as Australia, new drivers are given a ‘graduate driving licence’ which restricts access to certain driving environments such as motorways and night-time driving until they build up their experience and skills in ‘low-risk’ driving situations.
Although pass plus courses are available for new drivers the current test standard does not require a learner driver to have experience on dual carriageways or national speed limit roads. Many believe the test standard should require a wider range of ‘real life’ driving experience.
If a learner has their lessons on the same day, at the same time, on the same roads – then they’re unlikely to encounter a wide range of road and traffic conditions; potentially leaving new drivers under prepared for driving longer distances in different conditions.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. “One in five young drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test so putting the learning process under the spotlight has to be a good thing,”
Do you think learners should be allowed to drive on motorways?