We’ve had motorways for well over 50 years and a compulsory driving test for nearly 80, yet learner drivers are banned from motorways. Should drivers learn to drive on motorways before passing their tests?
Though motorways are some of the largest and fastest roads in the country, drivers don’t get any practice on them before gaining their full licence. In fact learner drivers are forbidden from even venturing onto motorways while behind the wheel. However, as soon as they receive their full licence which allows them to drive unaccompanied, drivers can head straight into the overtaking lane.
A rounded driving experience
Driving can be a daunting prospect for many people, especially those with little experience and no experience of driving by themselves. I was lucky enough to be able to drive thousands of miles with my parents before I took my test. I drove at night, during thunderstorms, hail, wind and urban rush hours.
When we discussed this issue on Convo previously, Ellie G told us how she invested in some extra lessons on motorway driving after passing her test:
Once I had passed my test my driving instructor offered me two lessons on motorway driving as he was aware that I would be using motorways fairly frequently. I had two lessons and it was money well spent. This was over twenty years ago and I have always maintained that motorway lessons should be compulsory when the learner is fully competent. Of course it would not stop the dreadful behaviour of some drivers on motorways but perhaps new drivers would be less nervous and prone to errors.
And Driving instructor MissTash007 has an interesting compromise – do you think this could take off:
There should be a compulsory motorway course and test if people wish to drive on the motorway, that way it is an optional course, however if they do not take it they are not legally allowed on the motorway, through licence plate tracking it’s easy to police with so many cameras.
Learners on motorways
Motorways form a significant part of the UK road network, so surely it’s only sensible to prepare drivers for driving on them. Some learners may live in areas where their dual carriageways create similar driving experiences to their local motorways – but not all will have this exposure.
Do you think motorway driving should be part of the test? Should compulsory motorway lessons follow or should they be optional? And how would you like to make sure new drivers are as safe as they can be?