Learner drivers will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons from tomorrow June 4th 2018.
The rule changes have been introduced to help new motorists equip themselves better to drive on the motorway, which can be daunting.
It will also give learner drivers the chance to practise driving at higher speeds, understand motorway specific traffic signs and understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway.
In addition to this, it will allow new drivers to get broader driving experience before taking their driving test and get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly.
Mark Winn, DVSA Deputy Chief Driving Examiner said: “DVSA’s priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving.
“Allowing learners to practice on motorways with a professional instructor gives them the opportunity be taught motorway rules and etiquette properly, practice at higher speeds and will help make our roads even safer.”
Peter Harvey, Chairman of the driving instructors’ trade body, National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) said: “The partners in NASP are very pleased to see that learner drivers are, at last, being allowed to drive on motorways.
“Driver trainers have been campaigning for many years to be able to train learner drivers on the vital skills needed on motorways before they pass their driving tests.
“We have been preparing for this announcement for quite some time and have been and continue to offer advice and training to our members on best practice when they take novice drivers on to a motorway for the first time.
“We have produced guidelines which are available on the NASP website.
“We are keen to emphasise to driver trainers that they should only take learners on to motorways when the learner is ready.
“Learner drivers should not expect their instructor to be giving them motorway training until they are ‘test-ready.”
Learners will need to be accompanied by a qualified driving instructor in a car with dual controls.
These lessons are also voluntary and it will be down to the instructor to decide whether or not the learner is ready yet.
Learner drivers are being urged to familiarise themselves with the Highway Code rules ahead of the changes coming into force.
Rule 260 of the Highway code reveals how drivers should conduct themselves on the motorway.
It says: “When you can see well ahead and the road conditions are good, you should:
“Drive at a steady cruising speed which you and your vehicle can handle safely and is within the speed limit
“Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog
Drivers are also reminded not to exceed 70 mph (112 km/h), or the maximum speed limit permitted for your vehicle.
New motorists may also not be aware of the rules regarding what lane to be in and what to do when overtaking.
“You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.
“If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.
Do not overtake unless you are sure it is safe and legal to do so and only on the right.
“Rule 217 of the Highway Code will be especially important in relation to the new learners on motorways rule:
“Learners and inexperienced drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events. Be particularly patient with learner drivers and young drivers.”
This will require careful attention to be paid by not only the learner but also regular road users, who should be considerate towards them.