Learner drivers to get motorway lessons under planned changes to driving instruction

Currently learner drivers are not allowed on the motorway Credit: PA

Learner drivers will be given motorway experience with an instructor before they can pass their driving test under new plans announced by the government.

The move, among a raft of changes designed to improve road safety, would be backed by a £2 million research scheme into driver education.

Currently, motorists are only allowed on the motorway once they have passed their practical exam.

But under Department for Transport plans learners would be offered the opportunity to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor in a dual-controlled car.

Other plans include:

  • Empowering police to remove more dangerous drivers from the road by providing forces with money for enforcement

  • An increase in penalties for drivers who use a handheld phone at the wheel, from three points to four, while fines would increase from £100 to £150

  • A government consultation on changes to improve cycling safety

  • Strengthening compulsory basic training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists

The government said the proposals were designed to reduce the number of people killed and injured on the country's roads.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

AA president Edmund King said: "The current situation whereby someone can pass their test in the morning, then drive alone on the motorway in the afternoon, without ever having driven on a motorway, is ridiculous.

"It makes sense that supervised learners should be allowed on motorways."

A series of consultations on the proposals will follow next year.