Ground-breaking changes to allow provisional drivers on the motorway, accompanied by a driving instructor, are to come into force in 2012.
The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning, has announced that it will be possible for provisional drivers to undergo some training on the motorway with a driving instructor.* This came following a growing concern at the number of young drivers who are killed or seriously injured whilst on the motorways around the UK.
Whilst this will open up opportunities for many young drivers around the UK to get some practice in before being faced with driving solo on a motorway Mr Penning has stressed that it will not be made compulsory. This is because there are learner drivers in remoter parts of the UK who may not live within a reasonable distance of a motorway to practice on.
It is important to note that learner drivers will only be able to practice on a motorway when accompanied by a qualified driving instructor. Even if the learner had adequate provisional insurance and were accompanied by a parent they would not be allowed to learn on a motorway.
However, that does not mean that provisional insurance holders should not practice with a qualified parent around the smaller roads around Britain.
Motoring and safety groups around the UK have welcomed this move by the Government, with Andrew Howard, The AA's head of road safety commenting:
“This is good news. It will end the ludicrous situation where people can live near a network of motorways and pass their test without ever having been on one.“
Following on from this Mr Penning has also announced plans to prevent trainee driving instructors from giving tuition without a fully qualified instructor supervising them.
It is believed that this will improve consumer confidence as well as reduce the number of trainee instructors who never get fully qualified but continue to teach regardless.
Mr Penning commented:
“I am going to stop people who are not qualified doing this. Some of these guys never get qualified.”