Today's the Day Learner Drivers Can Drive on the Motorway

By Tom Pritchard on at

There are a lot of people who don't know a damn thing about driving on the motorway, which I assume is why we end up with so many people who camp out in the middle lane and refuse to budge. Sure new drivers can take Pass Plus, and get a bit of an insurance discount in the process, but not everyone takes advantage of that. The good news is that today is the day learners can start having lessons on the motorway, and get some much-needed practice in.

These plans were announced a while back, with the idea being that learners could get some experience on the motorways before they pass their test - improving safety and their own confidence in the process. It's not a compulsory part of the driving test (not yet anyway), and learners can't just hop onto the motorway with mum and dad for a trip to the next city. They have to be in a proper dual-control car with a qualified driving instructor.

Apparently 8 per cent of drivers avoid the motorway for as long as six months after they pass their test, according to a poll of 20,000 AA members, which feels a little bit strange seeing as how my mum forced me onto the motorway within a week and shouted at me the entire time. A further 27 per cent said they felt scared the first time, presumably after hearing horror stories of people who can't drive on the motorway properly, and lorries that block two lanes of the three lanes travelling at 55 miles per hour.

The new rules have been welcomed by driving organisations, including the AA and RAC, and came about after statistics showed new drivers were far more vulnerable to accidents within the first six months of their test. That said, the rules don't include motorcyclists who still have to pass their test before they're allowed anywhere near the motorway. [BBC News]