L Plate

Or should we be saying ‘watch out, there’s an untrained driver on the motorway – and we don’t mean those with L plates!

This month saw the start of driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales. Learners must be accompanied by an approved instructor, be driving a car fitted with dual controls and display an L plate on the vehicle.

Previously drivers have been allowed to drive on a motorway immediately after they passed their test, without any formal training or experience. Now, although motorway lessons will be voluntary they will be encouraged but it will be up to the instructor to decide when the learner is competent enough to start them.

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has welcomed the move and said it could save countless lives as well as reduce congestion-causing incidents.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart strongly welcomes this common-sense change to the law on motorway driving. It has never made sense to us that new drivers on our most important roads learned how to use them by trial and potentially fatal error. The government’s insistence on the use of approved instructors and dual-controlled cars is a welcome safeguard that will ensure consistent levels of training and a proper phased introduction to motorway driving skills.

“Delays and injuries caused by driver error blight our motorways and with new systems such as smart motorways being widely introduced, it is vital that the level of knowledge and skill among motorway users is improved to keep our key economic routes flowing.

“Any current drivers who feel the need to refresh their skills or improve their confidence and enjoyment on the motorway can take an IAM RoadSmart motorway module today.”

Discover more at IAM RoadSmart