Ministers have set out plans to allow learner drivers to take driving lessons on motorways before passing their test.
Transport minister Andrew Jones has announced a consultation on proposals to allow learners accompanied by an approved driving instructor, driving a car fitted with dual controls, to use motorways. However driving on a motorway will not form part of the test.
Learner drivers may get training on using motorways safely
At present, drivers can only use motorways after passing their driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons on motorways through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.
Mr Jones said: ‘These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads.’
The Department for Transport said any motorways lessons would be voluntary and that it would be up to the driving instructor to decide when a learner is sufficiently competent.
RAC Foundation director Steve 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.’