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Mixed reaction to allowing learner drivers onto motorways during lessons

All drivers remember the first time. That excited, nervous feeling as you head down the slip road, speeding up to 50... 60... 70mph, indicator on, a final check the coast is clear.

Have your say

Very well put Linda.

Some very impractical stuff being mentioned.

John o groats to Perth (nearest motorway) 244 miles, 6 hours 6 mins via shortest route A9, very expensive for a motorway lesson in driving.

Posted by edd on 23 February 2012 at 18:18

If action is not taken until after the main driving test how is it to be checked whether new drivers are using the motorway? Clearly any additional tuition must be completed and documented before the driving test.

Posted by V on 23 February 2012 at 16:51

So wrong. And linda wills, you're also wrong !! upon passing theirs tests, newly qualified drivers still shouldn't be allowed on the motorways until taking further lessons and taking a second test solely based on motorway driving. Surely a much safer option.

Posted by ian h on 23 February 2012 at 09:10

I could not agree more with @Paul and @Linda Wills. What is the best way to learn someting, be taught and assessed by a professional, in my opinion its a really good idea. I also base this on personal experience, I was in a car with a newly qualified driver who thought they could manage the motorway - one word summaries the experience for me terrfying. The sooner instruction is brought in the better for me. Indeed although I drive a lot on the motorway and have 20 plus years experience of driving I have even considered paying for a lesson just to receive some advice/refresher training.

Posted by ph on 22 February 2012 at 22:49

Maybe the driving instructor could drill into new drivers:

There is only one driving lane on a motorway, the other two are for overtaking only,
Stay left, overtake, get back left. Only hang in the middle or third lane if there is a stream of vehicles travelling below the speed limit in the lane to your left.

It is amazing how many drivers just do not follow this very simple rule which is the heart of safe motorway driving.

Posted by Paul on 22 February 2012 at 21:22

I am a driving instructor of 7 years and totally believe that a learner should have lessons on the motorway, after all THEY will be the ones driving correctly, it's all the other so called qualified drivers that dont.
Anyone that disagrees should think of it this way.
I can have a learner in the car with me at 12 oclock and not be allowed on the motorway with them as they are a learner, they then take a driving test and pass it at 1pm, (one hour later)from that moment they are then legally allowed on that motorway totally alone never having been on a motorway before. But what driving experience do they have between 12pm and 1pm that makes them more able to drive on a motorway, they just have a piece of paper to prove they have passed a driving test not to say they can drive on a motorway. Who would drivers prefer to share a motorway with, someone about to take a test but is on a motorway with a qualified instructor who knows how to calm a nervous learner down and can prepare them fully, or someone who has just scraped through a driving test at 12pm then at 1pm they are on the motorway completely petrified as they have never been on one before and is a nervous wreck and likely to have a panic attack!!!

Posted by Linda Wills on 22 February 2012 at 20:44

Seems to me to be a pretty good idea, obviously this will not involve learner drivers in lesson 1 but more for the learner who has proven competency to their instructor first. We are not going to see kangaroo starts all over the motorways. A good idea to limit it to dual control cars too.
I was very lucky on this score as having just passed my driving test was then taken by my driving instructor back using the motorway (rush hour)learned such a lot in a short space of time, M6 Preston area.

There will of course be winners and losers in such an addition for the learner driver, namely a larger cost for those furthest from a motorway.
40-50 minutes to M6 Carlisle/Penrith from West Cumbria, then not much of an experience with our relatively light motorway traffic. Would be looking to a total of 3 hours at least for a driving lesson to gain any real experience, for West Cumbrian's.

Posted by edd on 22 February 2012 at 15:50

I agree with Dave. I think the test should be in two stages, if you pass your initial normal test then you qualify to take the motorway test. I would say it's rather dangerous to take a learner driver on to the motorway when they have passed their tests. Even if the driving instructor has dual control, they can't control those situations where idiots are flying past at 100mph. Even as a driver with over 9 yers experience, I have to be fully switched on when I go down that slip road on to the m6.

Posted by sam on 22 February 2012 at 12:37

Sounds good in theory, but as the article says not too practical for parts of the country remote from a motorway - not just Cumbria. I suggest it has to have conformity, i.e. everyone must have a certificate of motorway competency from a qualified driving instructor. Thus, for those who are "home taught" they will be compelled to pay for some professional lessons which may not be a bad thing.
I agree with the comments about other drivers, there are plenty who hog the wrong lanes etc. also many lorry drivers who aren't as good as they think they are. What about foreign drivers on our motorways? Perhaps there is scope for a lot more driving tuition for " experienced drivers" as demonstrated by Co Durham giving help to older drivers. Perhaps it could be linked in with reducing insurance premiums for everyone if they have a certificate. Lots to be considered before anything happens, but a good idea.

Posted by V on 22 February 2012 at 11:41

The test should be in 2 stages pass the normal test then take a test using the motorway ,then teach them to keep up with the correct speed not sit in the inner lane at 50mph,then teach them not to hog the centre lane,the outer lanes on the motorway are overtaking lanes why do we get the idiots sitting in the middle lane when the inner lane is empty,because nobody told them how to drive correctly on the motorway,how many people know what all the different cats eyes mean etc etc

Posted by Dave on 22 February 2012 at 07:47

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