Learner drivers will be allowed to drive on motorways throughout the UK in a bid to better prepare them for life after passing their driving test.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced a change in the law which will allow novice drivers to be able to take lessons on motorways with an approved instructor in a dual control car.
Mr Grayling said: “The UK has some of safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.
“Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over 25 and lack of experience is an important factor.
“Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”
Learners are currently not allowed on motorways until they have passed their test. The Government hopes the new legislation will be passed by Parliament next year.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said some drivers find it “daunting” to use motorways for the first time.
“Giving learners the option to gain valuable experience on our fastest and busiest roads should further improve safety and enhance the confidence of new drivers,” he said.
AA president Edmund King described a lack of motorway experience as the “Achilles heel” of learner driver tuition.
He added: “Almost half of motorists know friends or family who avoid driving on motorways. Fears have increased since the introduction of smart motorways without hard shoulders.”
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