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A new experience for learner drivers

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From 2018 learner drivers will be allowed on the motorway as part of safe driving measures.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) recently announced that, from 2018, learner drivers will be allowed on the motorway. Motorway driving will not be part of the driving test, a pass plus course would have to be taken separately.

Driving instructors would decide if a pupil is ready to drive on the motorway or not.

Motorway questions are asked on the driving theory test, therefore this will make it easier to answer them. It can be argued that driving lessons merely prepare someone to take a driving test. They do not always prepare someone for a lifetime of safe driving. A lot of the learning comes after the test itself. It has been a disadvantage to not allow learner drivers on the motorway. Once a driving test is passed, the motorway becomes a new concept that many learners can find daunting. However a driving instructors will only allow motorway driving if the pupil is up to it. “L” plates would also have to be clearly displayed. Once the driving test is passed, taking a pass plus course is optional.

These proposed changes are there to make roads safer, giving learners a broader driving experience so that new drivers know how to drive on the motorway, thus taking away the fear.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) reported that, in 2016, 1,780 road deaths were reported. Since 2013, motoring accidents have been on the increase. In 2015, 834 road accidents were on the motorway. The main issue which has been found is lack of motorway driving experience.

Although statistics have shown that seventeen to twenty-four-year-olds can be the most dangerous on the roads, it has been argued that older people can also be dangerous. There are various changes being looked into to make roads safer. Changes to the driving test itself are also under consideration by the DVLA.

The new rules around allowing learners on the motorway will not be implemented until 2018. Until then it is illegal for learner drivers to drive on the motorway.

Mayapee Chowdhury

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