Learner drivers will be allowed to drive on motorways for the first time, under plans revealed by the Government.
Under current rules, drivers are permitted on motorways only after they have passed their test, though there is no mandatory training for the 70mph roads.
The transport minister, Andrew Jones, announced the plans towards the end of December, which would allow approved instructors to take “competent” trainees on motorways in dual-controlled cars.
Jones said: “These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skillset which will improve safety levels on our roads.”
The Government said any change to the law would be well-publicised before coming into effect. Until then, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
The proposed changes aim to help contribute towards the Government’s commitment to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, and ensure safer journeys.
RAC director, Steve Gooding, and Neil Greig, policy director at the IAM RoadSmart charity, backed the proposal.
Gooding said: “The casualty statistics tell us that motorways are our safest roads, but they can feel anything but safe to a newly qualified driver heading down the slip road for the first time to join a fast-moving, often heavy, flow of traffic.
“Many are so intimidated by the motorway environment that they choose instead to use statistically more dangerous roads, so we welcome this move, which will help new drivers get the training they need to use motorways safely.”
Greig said it was a “sensible and measured solution”, adding: “It makes no sense that new drivers learn by trial and, often fatal, error how to use our fastest and most important roads.”