National News

Learner drivers allowed on motorways from 4th June 2018

From Monday 4th June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.

This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.

How the change will work

Learner drivers will need to be:

  • accompanied by an approved driving instructor
  • driving a car fitted with dual controls

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.

Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.

Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.

Motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change.

Making sure road users are ready for the change

The change is being well-publicised so that:

  • driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared
  • other road users know what to expect

The Highway Code rules on motorways will be updated.

Driving near learner drivers on the motorway

As with any vehicle on the motorway, keep a safe distance from a learner driver in front of you. Increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog.

You should always be patient with learner drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events.

Driving instructor vehicles and training

Driving instructors can decide if they want to use a driving school rooftop box during motorway lessons, based on its instructions.

The car will need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed.

Guidance for driving instructors

Learning materials and the syllabus for learning to drive a car are being updated to include motorway lessons.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency won’t give driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons.

The driving instructor’s National Associations Strategic Partnership has produced best practice guidance to help instructors.

Preparing drivers for a lifetime of safe driving

The changes are being made to allow learner drivers to:

  • get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
  • get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
  • practise driving at higher speeds
  • understand motorway specific traffic signs
  • understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway
  • improve their confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test

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