Written by Graham Cutbill-White
From 4th June 2018, new driving lesson rules came into effect which means that learners are now allowed to drive on UK motorways during lessons.
In a drastic change to previous rules, learner drivers will now be able to spend time on motorways practising their skills and better prepare themselves for the realities of day to day driving.
The introduction of the new laws has not been without controversy though, many drivers have voiced concerns about the prospect of sharing motorways with inexperienced learner drivers.
A recent poll claimed that 42% of motorists were against the changes and believe that drivers should only be allowed to drive on the motorway once you pass the test. 14% of those polled were frustrated at the prospect of getting stuck behind a learner driver.
Despite the fears of some drivers, many have applauded the new driving lesson rules as an important step towards modernising the driving experience for learners. Motorway driving is already a big part of learning to drive in many other countries and it’s hoped that these changes will increase the experience learners get and improve the overall quality of driving on motorways.
Although the new driving lesson laws will see big changes to UK motorways, it won’t quite be the free-for-all many are expecting.
From the 4th June, learner drivers may use all motorways across the UK during lessons, as long as they are supervised by a qualified driving instructor. They must also be driving in a dual-controlled vehicle with visible L-plates.
Driving on the motorway is not compulsory for all learner drivers and it’s up to the instructor to advise on when they believe you’re ready to take on motorway driving.
Of course, learners don’t have to have lessons on the motorways if they’re not ready or choose not to but as is common now, they will be taught the theory and principles of motorway driving.
The new driving lesson rules are only applicable to learners practising in a car, motorcycle learners will still not be able to use motorways. Also excluded are learners who are learning privately with a friend or family member.
The changes come into effect as part of a raft of new driving laws being rolled out into 2018 and also as part of changes to how learners practice for and take their driving test.
That being said, it’s also worth noting that despite these new laws, the practical driving test will not be changing to incorporate motorway driving.
Instead, it’s hoped that motorway lessons will give learners access to a wider range of driving scenarios, familiarise them with new smart motorways, and generally improve their level of driving and experience so they’re better prepared for driving when they pass their driving test.
If you’re a learner driver and want to get extra practice with friends and family before you head out on a motorway with a DSA-registered driving instructor, you can practice anytime and anywhere with temporary learner driver insurance.
It’s fast, flexible short term insurance that’s ideal for learner drivers. Allowing you to practice when you want while protecting the No Claims Discount of the vehicle owner and saving you money on expensive annual learner driver insurance. From just a single day up to 3 months at a time, you can get a policy that suits your situation.