Learning to drive is a rite of passage – but let’s face it, it can be pretty terrifying, going from passenger to being properly in control of a tonne of metal on wheels. But if that wasn’t scary enough, imagine learning to drive on the motorway – terrifying and exciting in equal parts.
As frightening as it may be (or not, if you’re really brave) the government are proposing exactly that – and they’re contemplating whether learner drivers should take lessons on the motorway. The proposals set out that any motorway lessons would be voluntary and only if instructors thought their pupils were competent enough. Needless to say, that learners would have to be accompanied by a qualified instructor and in a dual controlled car (you know – just in case).
So, what’s the theory behind motorway lessons? Well, the government is keen to expand the driving experience of novices before they take their tests. Being able to zoom along the motorway will also allow learners to practice driving at speed, decide on appropriate lanes and overtake.
It’s also all about making our roads even safer, as Road Safety Minister, Andrew Jones pointed out when announcing the plans; 1,732 people died on the roads in 2015 and 90% of all accidents are caused by human error. By giving drivers greater skills early on, it’s hoped that safety levels will improve.
If you think that motorway learning is just too risky with all that fast moving, often heavy traffic, then you might be surprised to know that only 4% of fatal accidents involving young drivers occurred on motorways – that’s compared to 80% on rural roads and 16% in towns.
The proposals are also backed by the RAC and its 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.”
And just as importantly, the people most affected by these proposals – the young drivers themselves, also welcomed the idea with 86% of them agreeing that motorway lessons were a good thing.
The consultation runs until 17 February 2017 so if you want to find out more or have anything to say, check out Gov.UK, Allowing learner drivers to have driving lessons on the motorway
Of course, if you’re learning to drive then make sure you understand the rules when it comes to car insurance – especially if you’re learning in your own car or with a friend or parent. And if you’ve passed your test already and kissed goodbye to the L plates, then find out just what it means to be a young driver in our hub; we’ve got all sorts of useful need to knows like the best budget cars to buy, how much it’ll cost you to get insured as well as the annual cost of running a car – we’re not just about comparing stuff you know.