FROM today, learner drivers will be able to get their first taste of motorway driving while they are preparing for their test.
The law change, which has now come into force, means driving students can take to the carriageways provided they are with a qualified instructor.
When the move was announced back in March, a driving instructor who teaches in Bromsgrove and Redditch has welcomed the a law change.
David Mann from the ADI Bromsgrove Driving School spoke to The Standard about the changes which Highways England claim will lead to a ‘smarter generation of motorway road users’.
“It’s something the public have been wanting for a long time and I think it is broadly supported by instructors,” said Mr Mann.
“It’s not a bad thing to give the young people the experience of driving on the motorway before their test but we will have to be extremely careful when deciding which students we decide to take on the motorway.
“We can build them up to it by first taking them on dual carriageways, such as the Bromsgrove Highway.
“And there are a lot more hazards on dual carriageways – statistically motorways are the safest roads to drive on.”
In the past learner drivers were only able to take to the motorways once they had passed their test.
Now under a change to the law from June 2018, learners will be allowed to drive on motorways with an approved driving instructor (ADI) using a dual controlled car displaying L plates.
Highways England, the body responsible for Britain’s motorways and strategic A roads, says this law change will help develop a smarter generation of motorway road users.
It will allow approved driving instructors (ADI) to teach learners about the specific set of skills associated with using the motorways safely in a practical situation.
Head of Road Safety at Highways England Richard Leonard said: “Safety is our top priority and we welcome today’s change which will help equip learner drivers to drive safely on motorways when they have passed their tests.
“We look forward to supporting the motorway drivers of tomorrow as they develop these new driving skills and get invaluable practical knowledge and experience of using motorways.”
The changes will mean learners get a broader driving experience before taking their test, training on using motorways, including joining and leaving, overtaking and using lanes correctly and practice at driving at higher speeds.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said the move would modernise driver training and make sure learners had the skills and experience they needed to drive on fast, busy roads.
The Department for Transport consulted on the changes in December 2016, and they received wide support from learner drivers, the driver training industry and road safety organisations and the general public. These changes apply to England, Wales and Scotland.
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