Learner drivers will soon be allowed to drive on motorways, as long as they’re accompanied by a qualified instructor, according to new guidelines from the Department for Transport.
But is this a good thing? We’ve all learnt to drive at some point, but you have to admit, it is frustrating following a car emblazoned with a big red ‘L’ at 20mph seemingly everywhere.
So with learners now allowed on the UK’s motorway network to gain experience, will this just further exacerbate the problem as the speed differential widens?
Well no, not really. Obviously leaners will have to be accompanied by a qualified instructor meaning their teacher probably isn’t going to let them loose on a 70mph stretch of black top until they’re well and truly ready.
Gaining experience of motorways so new qualified drivers are up to speed (excuse the pun) with the motorway system is in actual fact a brilliant idea, as your first foray into the three-lane carriageway can be a daunting experience.
Many newly qualified drivers build the first motorway trip up unnecessarily, creating undue fear.
Motorways are wide, open, straight and all the traffic flows in the same direction so in fact, they should be the easiest type of roads to drive on in the UK. The secret to successful motorway driving is getting on, changing lanes and leaving the carriageway in a safe fashion and experience is the only way to learn that.
The myth that motorways are dangerous is untrue, too. In fact, the three-lane highways are the UK’s safest type of road according to the European Road Assessment Programme.
To think a new qualified driver could make their way home from passing their test and be legally allowed to drive at up to 70mph – often faster given the pace of modern motorway traffic – is ludicrous and more importantly dangerous to themselves and their fellow road users.
Gaining experience in a controlled (relatively) environment could prove the perfect way to dispel the myth of ‘scary’ motorway driving among learner drivers, introducing them to the unique driving scenario in manageable chunks rather than the baptism of fire fresh licence holders have had to endure up to this point.
In our opinion, the new rules have been a long time coming and we’re convinced it’ll improve awareness and driving standards amongst young motorists on the country’s motorways.