Learner Drivers Can Now Drive on Motorways
So, it has happened! A lot of people have been waiting for this to happen and here it is. In the UK, learner drivers can drive on motorways with their instructor if they are in a dual controlled car. This law was changed on the 4th of June 2018. This allows for learners to get comfortable with motorways before passing their test. Let’s talk about everything this may affect.
Will motorway driving be on the driving test?
As of June 2018, when the law changed, motorway is not part of the driving test. It is possible that this may change in the future. In my opinion I do not think it will become part of the test as for all people that do not live near a motorway, it would be a much longer test for them to drive all the way to a motorway. Then again, if only people near a motorway did it as part of their test, that would give everyone who doesn’t live by a motorway an unfair advantage, as they do not have to do the more difficult driving.
How will learners on motorways affect other drivers?
On motorways, more experienced drivers will have to be aware that there may be learners around them. Of course, the learner will have to have L plates on the car so they are easily identifiable. They will just have to be extra careful when in the vehicle behind. Keeping a further distance is a good idea as it may take the learner longer to react to any changes ahead.
The instructor has the option to take off the learner car roof box from their car, however the L plates must stay on the car at all times when the learner is driving.
Do you have to drive on a motorway in your lessons?
No, is the simple answer, motorway lessons are voluntary. It will depend on how comfortable you are as a driver. If you feel you need them then it would be recommended that you do it with your instructor, as after you’ve passed your test you are less likely to want to drive on the motorway on your own if you are not confident.
Don’t forget, there is nothing wrong with taking more lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. You could always wait until after your test and then have another couple of lessons dedicated to motorways. Now that you’ve got more confidence anyway that should make it easier.
Motorway Driving Tips and Tricks
What are the benefits of this?
Increased confidence in driving in general for all young drivers who take these motorway driving lessons. 8% of young drivers are scared of driving on motorways. With lessons, I am sure this number can be dramatically reduced. Another benefit of becoming confident in driving on motorways is that drivers should also feel more confident when driving on dual carriageways etc. This is because they’ve got used to driving on busier roads with more lanes, making dual carriageways seem a lot easier. That’s my theory anyway!
Another benefit is that if the lessons mean a driver has enough confidence to use motorways, it will reduce their journey times for any long-distance travelling, a road trip or something similar maybe. This will also allow them to travel further for work etc as many people work far from home and have to rely on motorways to get around. Travelling 50 miles on a motorway should be a lot quicker than travelling 50 miles through lots of tight city roads, traffic dependant of course.
What may stop this working?
Living far away from a motorway means that some people may not do motorway lessons. As I mentioned earlier, these are voluntary anyway so you don’t have to do these if you don’t want to. One of the issues is if there are no motorways near you, this means you would have to pay for an extra long lesson to have enough time for you to drive up to a motorway, drive on it, and then go all the way home again. If there isn’t a motorway within a few miles of you then this could become a very expensive lesson!
As well as this, if you decide you want to do motorway lessons but your instructor thinks you are not ready then they do not have to take you. It’s best to listen to them as they probably know best.
If you’re interested in other young driver laws that are different from more experienced drivers, read this blog.
Motorway driving is a big thing, everybody looks at it in a different way. Some are not bothered at all and treat it like any other road, just busier, whereas some people will avoid motorways at all costs for years until they build up enough confidence to drive on them.
Whether you should or should not do the lessons is up to you, your ability and your confidence. It’s worth thinking if it is worth it as well. If you are not likely to be using the motorways very much at all then maybe you won’t need them. Then at a later date if you do decide you need them, even if it’s a couple of years later, you can have a lesson or two on motorways.
Do you agree that learners should be allowed on the motorway?
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The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.