posted 3 years ago

IAM Claims Learner Drivers Should Be Allowed On Motorways

Road Safety Charity Says Learner Drivers Need Motorway Tuition

The Institute of Advanced Motorists claims that learner drivers should be allowed on motorways. Why? Because supervised, pre-test, tuition would help motorists “avoid some of the most common mistakes such as driving to close and centre lane hogging”. Furthermore, it stresses that “very few” people have been trained to use motorways so most learn from their “mistakes”. This, the safety charity says, is “far from ideal”. It also argues that learner drivers are “a safe group on normal roads”. In the near future, the government will publish a green paper relating to learners that might include such a provision. If this becomes law, it would bring the United Kingdom's motorway policy more in-line with Australia's and The United States of America's. Furthermore, GEM – a breakdown recovery specialist – recently ran a survey which showed that eighty-five percent of motorists want learner drivers to have pre-test motorway tuition - and seventy-seven percent said such roads should be covered by the test. The vast majority of the survey respondents also want learners to be tutored over a minimum time period.

Safety Expert Discusses Learner Drivers On Motorways

The Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “Human error is the main contributory factor in seventy-one percent of injury crashes on motorways and surveys suggest drivers often lack confidence on motorway use.” He continued: “This measure - plus widely available refresher and modular courses on motorway driving - should be encouraged to help everyone use them from a position of knowledge and confidence. The outcome should be fewer incidents, fewer injuries, and fewer delays.”

Advantages Of Letting Learner Drivers On Motorways

The prospect of finding learners on a motorway makes some people wince. That is understandable. But consider this: everyone has to venture onto these roads for the first time - and as things stand that could be one minute after someone passes the test. In other words, the first time he/she controls a car without supervision. Furthermore, motorway driving requires a different set of skills than cruising through town, etc. - so clearly new drivers would benefit from practical tuition. Surely, in fact, if this was compulsory the motorways would be safer. If we accept this point, there are two options. The first is the Institute's pre-test suggestion, the second a course the new driver completes after the test but before he/she uses motorways unsupervised. The latter cannot viably be policed so perhaps pre-test motorway tuition is the better option.

Have your say - Do you agree that supervised learner drivers should have pre-test tuition or complete a mandatory post driving motorway skills test?

Learner drivers should be allowed on the motorway only after they've had at least several driving lessons and only then if the examiner thinks that they are ready.

Don't some people talk a load of rubbish. Don't let learners on a motorway until they have passed the test. In my book there is no difference in the way one should drive after the test than half an hour before, so to suggest that someone should pass, then take lessons on a motorway is daft. One is a learner in the morning then they pass at lunch time and then go motorway driving with an ADi in the afternoon. Why not take them on the motorway weeks before the test then they would be used to driving on them when they are on their own. I always tell my clients that they are no different after the test than they were before it the only difference is that they have a pass certificate that confirms that they are safe to be let out on their own. YES lets get them on motorways and give them the correct skills sooner rather than later as we have all seen the self taught motorway users!

As ther are so many idiots on motorways who have no idea which is the driving lane (lane 1) and which are the overtaking lanes (lane 2,...n) having tuition for learners on the motorway WITH a qualified driving instructor should be mandatory. Then, as the idiots who don't know how to drive properly on a motorway die off, we will finally get drivers who can drive on a motorway. Alternatively, replace the practical test with a two stage test: 1) driving on ordinary roads as per the current test; once passed, they still have to use L plates, but they can then have motorway lessons and finally take (2) an extended test (as test 1 but also including motorway/similar duel carriageway if no suitable motorway available) which once passed gives them the full licence? Seeing as motorways are the safest in terms of accidents per driven mile, if learners should not be allowed as it would increasse the accident rate, they ought to be banned from ordinary roads as well as the accident rates there are already much hiogher (which means that eventually there would be no drivers and the roads would be safe (and no lorries nor busses)...and cyclists can then be targeted for proper training and understanding of road traffic law, eg what the top light (illuminated in red) means).

As far as I an concerned leaners drivers should have 6 off road lessons before even allowed to go onto the public highway and the first six lessons with an approved instructed. Also with an approved instructed be given lessons on motorway driving or make passplus complusory and also P plates for the first twelve months and restricted cc of car.

I don't think learners should be allowed on the motorway, I have recently passed my test, I wouldn't have had the confidence when still a learner to be driving safely at that high speed, I agree with Brian Whittle.

I agree that L drivers should be allowed to learn to drive on the m ways only after they have learnt on the main roads and have gained their confidence.

As Brian Whittle says, compulsory lessons with a driving school after the driving test before being allowed on.

Defntly yes, but the learner should drive first on dual carriage ways to become used to vehicle handling at speeds up to 60/65 mph and then try a small stretch of motorway handling from one exit to another, preferably on a quiet motorway, and then on more busier motorways until he/she aquires more confidence

no they shouldn't be allowed on m-ways as learners but it should be compulsory to have at least 2 lesson's with a driving school after passing the driving test.

This is sound commonsense and should have been introduced years ago. To allow a newly passed driver on to a motorway with no previous experience of such is madness. M/WAY driving should be part of professional tuition. Bring it on - now,not next year!

As an aged 73 yr old I am a big believer in extra tuition, especially for new drivers. But only from official tutors, motorway driving is a major part of driving in this day and age and should be taught before taking the test.I just took my refresher test with a police instructor at 72 and passed all but 1 item, I do about 25 k a year so I felt I should, everyone one over 65/70 should take this

It is a good idea for learners to have some training in motorway driving but whether this is before or after passing the test, it has to be given by a professional driving instructor,not"my mate, who's been driving for years". The worst instructor, is the one who has been picking up bad habits "foryears"

yes I agree but only with an oficial instructor who will be responsible for them

This has to be one of the better ideas, as all drivers will end up driving on a motorway at some point it seems logical that they should be trained to drive on them properly. With the recent changes to the law for lane discipline then it is important that new drivers are made aware of how to drive on Motorways. The sooner this is introduced to the driving test requirements the better !!!!

Motorway driving tuition should be a mandatory requirent but only once you have passed your basic driving test.

Anything to prevent this middle lane madness and now the lane 3 crowding and blocking. Also when drivers have accidents they should be re-trained and re-tested to stop this middle lane habit. This would improve safety among the people who are hav ing the accidents. They should also have to pay for the re-train and re-test. Last year I was nearly killed by a young woman (the most dangerous drivers on the road) who entered the motorway and drove directly into lane three where I was doing 30 mph more than her. I didn't realise a car could slow down that fast

there are so many bad drivers out there on the urban roads without letting them on to the motorways, most should have cars taken away from them so no l drivers on motorways

It sounds like a good idea to me.

i'm sorry but no way should a learner driver be let anywhere near a motorway.motorways are very busy,it's not like travelling on an a road when on a motorway,they are congested and cars are travelling at high speed.for a learner driver to travel on a motorway is a recipe for disaster,even if they are supervised.i can't believe that it is even being considered.theres just no way.surely anyone with any common sense can see the huge dangers that will most definitely affect the most experienced driver if learners are allowed on a motorway.i believe a learner should pss there test and use normal roads for at least two yrs before they themselves even consider a motorway.motorways are a different world to that of an a or b road.just my view.

I believe the whole learner process should be updated to reflect the changes to the road network over the past decade. As a professional driver I have witnessed some shocking examples of driving across a wide range of road types and levels of experience. With the current economic climate, driving lessons are often replaced with DIY instruction which although results in a test pass eventually does not allow sufficient development in fundamental skills required to drive a car safely. I think bringing in a initial driver status which requires an adi (not pdi) to sign off basic skills such as cockpit drill, use of controls, moving off, stopping and simple junctions prior to issuing a provisional licence which allows supervision from a person over 21 and held a licence for over 3 years(existing requirements). Motorway tuition should be mandatory however this may cause proximity issues with some test centres.

Motorway lessons are a very good idea, as many incedents are caused by inexperienced drivers not having the confidence to drive appropriately, especially when entering from a slip way. I would go one further and insist all drivers must complete a lesson before being allowed on the m/way.

Why let them loose so soon after passing the test ? Let them after 6 months or so. When the middle lane hoggers are currently I G N O R E D by the authorities why give someone another excuse to shut down the motorways through R T A s?

I'm sure long distance lorry drivers love the prospect of a learner driver doing 1 junction on a motorway, too nervous to go over 40 and slow everything down on the M roads. It takes learners find to learn to assess situations quickly and act correctly & in the right order, don't put them into events they potentially can't handle! All this policy change will do is increase M road congestion and motorway RTAs, which government willmisinterpret in their own way to make sure they punish motorists further, probably by reducing M road speed limits.

My daughter learnt to drive in West Germany in 1987. She had to learn at a driving school, and had to complete a four hours of driving during the day and again at night in town and out of town, as well as on motorways during the day and again separately at night. A total of 24 hours of drving under instruction, In ad´dition, the driving school provided classes on the highway code for the theoretical test. She was well equipped for motorway driving as a result.

I drive many thousands of miles per year in the UK and Europe and occasionally in the USA. My experience since passing my basic test in 1965 and later the IAM advanced test in 1988, indicates to me that motorway discipline would be better served if new drivers received specific motorway tuition. There are many self confessed "experts" who hog the middle or outside lanes. Many drivers do not understand the correct way to join a motorway. Those "experts" are a menace and might have benefited from such early training.

L-drivers on motorways? Possibly not - unless being supervised by professional driving instructors. Why not adopt the Australian system where, when you pass your test you go onto P-plates for a year. During this period you could be made to take a professional motorway driving course, before graduating as a fully qualified driver

Great Idea, Motorway tuition is a must in today's driving conditions. Pity there are no motorways in Northern Scotland, we missed out on the building boom of the 60's. Even rural Ireland has a modern motorway network?

I believe that the should be made to take compulsory motorway training before they are allowed on the motorway. There are far too many inexperienced drivers on the motorways. Even if this means that the pass plus scheme is changed from optional to compulsory.

It is essential that learner drivers are instructed in Motorway driving theory and practise, both day and night time. How can anyone not completing such a course be able to drive confidently and proficiently? Would you use an angle grinder or power tool without first reading the instructions? The UK has the lowest lane discipline levels within the EU. Forward observation, planning, and acceleration sense, are simply not exercised by the majority of drivers on the UK's motorway networks. I wonder why?

I think there should be three parts to passing the driving test, once they have passed the theory & basic test they should take a 'pass plus' driving instruction and test to include motorway/duel carriageway driving at speed and to understand speed awareness. once they have a full license be limited to certain times of the day, speed, and number of passengers for 12months


I took my test back in the 70's in the services after passing the driving test we had to complete a motorway drive and a night drive under supervision, our course also included a skid pan. We were taught to drive to the road speed limits 70 in those days and to come through speed limit signs without braking just judging and taking your foot of the accelerator. I certainly think a motorway drive and night drive should be completed after the test, but before your allowed loose on the roads.

I am a lapsed IAM Member and would tend to agree in principal. The ONLY additional criteria that I feel MUST BE MET is that any motorway tuition be with a fully qualified instructor and parents etc. Having said that, I do appreciate that not everyone has access to motorways, in these situations the learner should do a MINIMUM number of hours on a major dual carriageway under professional instruction; the reason for this is that many major dual carriageways have a similar layout to motorways with slip lanes & limited or no junctions crossing - however the learner in this situation should have an extended theory test regarding motorway driving. I also feel that night driving should also be compulsory before the learner can pass the test. All the above criteria should be evidenced by the professional instructor before the test can be passed.

Provisional licence holders on motorways. No way. I know several driving instructors who should be allowed to drive on motorways, let alone supervise. To be allowed to teach on motorways, ADI's should hold a higher qualification.

61 years 3 months driving. All groups followed by HGV1; Trolley bus and tram; every make and size; including road trains in Aussie. Learner drivers could not be more dangerous than those that claim to be licensed, tail-gating; bullying; weaving; 70 means 80/90; 60 means 70/80; and worse still 30 means 40/50 and even 60.

Yes I think they should be allowed as it is better to get proper instruction before going solo. There are also quite a few drivers that have already passed their tests that could do with proper training! On the speed issue newly qualified drivers should be restricted on how fast they can go until they have gained more experience.

This has to be a joke!!.There are enough idiots using the motorways already without turning L drivers loose on them.The accident and death rate would undoubtably soar.Fair enough, they would be accompanied by instuctors but i still do believe it would be a very dangerous undertaking.I for one would never use the motorways again and there are those would say "who cares",well I do for one.

If a recently passed learner is not safe on a Motorway then they should not have passed their test in the first place. There are no practical skill differences between driving on a Motorway and a dual carriageway. If you allow learners on to a motorway who makes the decisions that they are competent enough? A test examiner is best placed to make that decision. As for making part of a post test - how about the areas that don't have a motorway close at hand?

I think learner drivers should train on a motorway as part of their normal driving lesson. Driving lessons are expensive enough without having to pay for pass plus to get motorway experience. I am a learner driver myself and I for one wish I could use a motorway with an instructor to get used to driving along a road with more lanes, speed isn't an issue as the national speed limit is the same on a motorway like the M25 as it is on some dual carriage ways such as the A13

Learners are allowed on duel carridge ways which are just as fast and more dangerous (as you can cross them and they have t junctions off them requiring cars to slow right down) so why not motorways which are actually quite safe. Makes no sense.

Yes I agree learners should not be allowed to go on motorway if they pass and are going to use it in the first mouth, I need to use motorway in the first 3 weeks but I asked to take the next step of advance driving which was to use motorway I think all new learners should take the next step with out option it must be a must

Given the much higher accident record for young drivers, I think that learners ought not to be allowed on to Motorways, at least until they have qualified successfully by passing the driving test. There is also a case for further tuition to be given about using motorways and not permitting young drivers onto motorways until they have driven for a year after passing the test. Vehicles are so much faster today than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Not putting fast vehicles as the disposal of younger drivers is probably more important than restricting them from motorway journeys.

This would be a positive step for the learner driver, however, this should be restricted to driving school tutors, not 'lessons from parents' this way the tutor would not be likely to expose the learner to the motorway until they felt that the individual was ready.

As well as pre-test Motorway tuition, night driving ought also to be mandatory, surely modern technology could provide a simulator for these purposes?

In Germany Autobahn driving is part of your test and it is more stringent. I agree that learners should be allowed under supervision on the motorway to learn the correct way to behave rather then the day after getting their pass being let loose on the motorways. the only problem we have in Norfolk is finding a piece of duel carriageway let alone a motorway to teach learns on.

I agree that learners should be given training on Motorways but only perhaps after a post test period of say about 3 months to allow them to get some general experience on dual carriageways The present situation is not acceptable as you can past your test and immediately go on to a motorway This I believe should lead to better motorway driving skills and cut down on the idiots who have no idea

Yes, learner drivers should be allowed onto motorways to get the experience needed for when they have passed their test. It is just plain common sense, to give them that experience for when they are ready to drive on their own.

no way , they can use duel carriageways to gain the skill. they similar to motorways but more often with lower speeds,and they should have to do at least 4 hours on carriageways before they are allowed to sit there test.

As long as it's not the M25 - this is bad enough already. Otherwise, yes. Many motorway drivers are only occasional users, hence are practically learners anyway.

Learners should be able to receive sufficient knowledge whilst using dual carriageways as the principle is exactly the same and the speed is generally 70mph. They should not be allowed on motorways until passing their test. That said the motorways are congested with fools who do not know the rules of the road & that includes those who do less than 70mph but still insist in 'squatting' in the wrong lane. What happened to those motoring programs that popped up from time to time with driving guidance, I remember them clearly and the rules are still applicable?