Right Driver

Learner drivers to be allowed to drive on motorways

Learner drivers can take a driving lesson on our motorways from 2018, however, they must be supervised by an approved driving instructor (ADI) in a car with dual controls.

The motorway lessons will not be compulsory and it is up to the driving instructor to decide whether the learner is ready to have a motorway lesson.

As so many drivers use motorways, many every day, it will help ensure that new drivers aren’t daunted by the prospect of driving at higher speeds in heavy traffic on roads with three or more lanes. It will also give learners an opportunity to learn correct merging techniques on slip roads, to perfect their overtaking technique and to improve their awareness of traffic on the left and right in an environment with higher speeds.

It will help them learn why there are traffic lights at the entrance to motorways, how to deal with slip roads and how to drive safely on motorways.

Drivers will be able to put their motorway theory knowledge into practice as they will see the following signs in real-world situations.

countdown signs on motorway

Signs such as these are learned for the theory test but can’t be put into practice if learner drivers can’t drive on motorways

Drivers will learn how to read motorway signs, which will help with navigation and understanding the road ahead

This change will apply to England, Scotland and Wales and brings the UK in line with other western, left-driving countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Trainee driving instructors won’t be able to take learners on the motorway.

Driving instructors will be able to remove their driving school roof-top box during motorway lessons to aid with fuel consumption, but they must still display L plates (or D plates in Wales) on the front and rear of the vehicle.

DVSA isn’t planning on providing any specific extra training to ADIs for motorway lessons, but learning materials and the car driving syllabus will be updated to help driving instructors plan their motorway driving lessons.

The exact date of the change will be confirmed later.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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