Learner drivers can practice on motorways from 4 June 2018

The law is changing for learner drivers, so that they will be allowed to drive on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual-control car, in England, Scotland and Wales.

1. Introduction
This explanatory memorandum has been prepared by the Department for Transport and is laid before Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.

2. Purpose of the instrument
2.1 This instrument removes a restriction to allow learner drivers to have lessons on motorways, if they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car. From Monday 4 June 2018, the law is changing to allow learn drivers on the motorway, hoping to improve road safety for all.

What changes are being introduced as part of this?

There are some factors that are mandatory if a learner driver is to use the motorway:

The learner must be accompanied by an approved driving instructor
Secondly, the car should be fitted with dual controls.

Yet, although learn drivers will be allowed on motorways for practice, during learner lessons, it will still be at the discretion of the instructor to decide if the driver is experienced enough, and the motorway part will not be included as part of the driving test.

At present, learner drivers cannot drive on a motorway until after they have passed their test. However, the new driver is offered extra lessons which covers the motorway, as part of the Government’s official Pass Plus scheme, an optional add-on educational programme for new drivers.

Government figures show that only about 3% of new drivers take the Pass Plus course, a six-hour post-pass instruction that includes being shown how best to drive on motorways.

The Legislation document outlines, “Younger drivers are around 5 to 7 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with car drivers aged 25 or over. More and varied practice can help drivers to be safer on the roads. Learner drivers are currently prohibited from driving
on motorways. Post-test training is available but uptake is low. The changes to legislation will encourage learner drivers to gain a broader range of driving experiences prior to obtaining their driving licence.”

The changes to the law come following a Department for Transport consultation earlier this year, which received wide support from both learner drivers and approved driving instructors. The changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland.

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