Under a scheme to improve road safety in the UK, the Department for Transport is considering allowing learner drivers to experience motorway driving ahead of taking their test.
Learners are currently forbidden from motorways altogether. The only motorway driver training course, Pass Plus, is not permitted until after drivers have passed their test.
The proposed change in the law would allow learners onto the motorway before passing their test, but only in a dual-controlled car with an approved instructor alongside them. The proposed scheme aims to make newly-qualified drivers safer when venturing out onto the motorway alone.
However, there are no plans to make motorway driving part of the mandatory test route at present. Motorway training would only be voluntary, offering an added opportunity to learner drivers to gain experience, rather than being a necessity of gaining a driving licence.
The RAC welcomes the news, but argues that the proposal doesn't go far enough. It believes motorway driving should be compulsory in lessons and during the driving test. A 2014 survey conducted by the group revealed that 86% of learners wanted motorway training as a compulsory part of their driving lessons. The same survey found that lessons on driving in the dark and in adverse weather were similarly popular.