Have you heard about moves to allow learner drivers onto motorways? Before you sound your horn in protest, let’s take a look at some facts.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently announced that the Government was looking into the idea, with a view to introducing the scheme sometime from January 1, 2018. The plan is for learners to gain experience on the motorway under supervision, rather than taking a nail-biting, solo run in the fast lane after passing their test.
The first thing to understand is that only fully qualified, approved driving instructors will be permitted to take learners out on the nation’s motorways. Plus, the car must be a dual-controlled vehicle with clearly displayed L-plates or a roof sign.
This important rule prevents the learner hopping into the driving seat of mum’s battered hatchback and heading off to the nearest motorway junction.
Furthermore, as a responsible driving instructor, I would only consider taking a learner driver for a lesson on a motorway if I felt they were truly competent enough. In my opinion, this means the learner would need to be up to the standard required to take the practical driving test.
At the moment, this important consideration is a grey area which needs to be clarified in the final written proposal. I concur with the many commentators and motoring experts who have rightly warned that to let learners, regardless of ability, loose on a four-lane motorway in rush-hour would be carnage!
Finally, in order to introduce these proposals, the Government needs to change the law governing the UK’s highways, which means taking the legislation through parliament. The detailed plan can then be scrutinised by all political parties and motoring bodies who will be able to push for amendments or even refusal.
Remember, the whole idea is to make our motorways safer by educating the drivers of tomorrow. Provided that this can be delivered in a responsible and safe way, this can only be a good thing.
Steve Hunter owns Pelican School of Motoring who have been successfully teaching people to drive since 1992, and they have therefore acquired vast knowledge and experience helping people of all abilities. Call 01992 589783 or 07958 449325.
Member since: 11th March 2014
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