From next year learner drivers will be allowed to head up and down the motorway with a qualified instructor. Will this slow-up – and potentially endanger – other drivers, or is it key to helping learners gain experience?
Letting learner drivers loose on our motorways may seem like a recipe for disaster – or at least a multi-vehicle pile-up. However, that’s just what the Department for Transport has announced it is planning to do.
MP Mike Penning revealed plans to enable learner drivers to get some motorway driving training from 2012, provided they are accompanied by a qualified instructor.
This means they can’t speed around the country supervised only by a friend or relative, but that they can get experience of driving at high speeds in a safe way with an instructor. And they’ll hopefully learn vital skills that will keep them safer once they’ve passed their test.
The pros and cons of motorway lessons
I don’t relish the notion of having to dodge slow-moving L-drivers the next time I venture onto the M25. And what if they decide to hog the fast lane? There certainly could be a negative impact on congestion on our already overcrowded motorways.
However, anything that cuts the death and injury toll among young drivers has to be a good thing. In fact, I wonder if the Department for Transport has gone far enough – surely night-time driving should be added to the agenda for learners too.
And perhaps both of these types of driving should be made compulsory for everyone, except those living in remote parts of the country without a motorway network nearby. After all, one of the big plusses of passing the L-test – for parents and young drivers – is the ability it gives them to get home safely late at night.
Do you think our driving test is thorough enough, and if not how would you improve it?