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The Government has recently passed plans to allow learner drivers to take lessons on motorways prior to passing their test. The coalition hope that this will help provisional licence holders to gain vital experience and it expects other benefits such as a reduction in insurance premiums for new drivers but the news has been met with a mixed reaction.

Current legislation

Motorways have their own set of rules and up until now, those rules have always banned learner drivers from taking to its network. That means that anyone looking to gain experience will have to wait until they have passed their test and either book additional motorway lessons which are widely available or, they simply have to take the decision to take their first three-lane drive unaccompanied.

For many newly qualified drivers it is an immensely nerve wracking experience when it comes to motorway driving for the first time. In fact, there are a proportion of experienced full licence holders who avoid this type of road altogether and instead, will choose to plan routes that take motorways out of the equation.

The intended benefits

Learner drivers will now be able to take to the road with their instructor and gain vital, professional tuition in how to drive safely on the UK’s motorways. This can be introduced in the latter stages of their tuition, by which time they should be a far more confident driver and be able to easily absorb the extra skills needed for motorway driving.

The Government’s Roads Minister, Mike Penning, has also said that he hopes UK insurers will bring down premiums for newer and younger drivers as a result of this extra experience. Due to a higher proportion of car accident claims, Liverpool based insurers and those all over the country have introduced unaffordable premiums in some cases, but Mr Penning has vowed to speak to them with a view to bringing these costs down.

The detractors

Those that are against the plans suggest that there will be more accidents on the motorway with learner drivers on them. There are obvious issues with this such as the increased risk of death on the roads, physical injury and increased delays for minor incidents but this will also cause the suggestion of reduced insurance premiums to backfire.

Insurance companies can tend to be slow to react to moves such as these and they will want to see statistics before they make any changes in costs. An increase in accidents following the introduction of these plans will only force premiums up.

Right or Wrong?

Provided that motorway driving does not become part of the UK driving test then this move should be welcomed by all motorists. For the learner driver, it’s important to understand that they are receiving tuition from a trained professional and their instructor will not take a pupil out onto a motorway unless they are certain that they are completely ready.

The practise will therefore make that driver far more confident, not just on the motorway but in all areas of their techniques. It will also save money too as the extra costs for post-test motorway tuition is no longer necessary.

For the more nervous drivers, the instructor will know whether to wait or defer the lessons until after the test and overall, this is a logical move on the government’s part.


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Ryan Writes about Health, Environment, Home Decor, Kids, Laws in Blogger Dojo.