Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Learner drivers to be allowed on motorway before they pass test . . .


Learner drivers to be allowed on motorway before they pass test

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LEARNER drivers will be allowed to drive on the motorway before they pass their test under new plans announced by the government.

The lift in the ban is part of a scheme to improve road safety and will be backed by £2 million of research into driver education.

As it stands, motorists are only allowed on to the motorway once they have passed their practical exam.

Under the Department for Transport plans, learners would be offered the opportunity to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor in a dual-controlled car.

Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry said he thought the plans were a good idea.

He said: “Young people getting experience travelling at 70mph is a good idea as long as its with a qualified teacher.

“Young people need that experience at dealing with the high speeds.

“It is vital to improve their driving capabilities and give them the confidence to go out on their own and drive.”

Fee Khan, who’s been an instructor for nine years and runs Female In-Tuition Driving Academy, in Blackburn, said she welcomed the plans to let learners drive on the motorway.

She said: “I think it’s a great idea because it’s something everyone has to do.

“A learner could pass their test today and drive on to the motorway without any experience whatsoever.

“People are encouraged to take part in Pass Plus, but it is at the drivers’ discretion to come back and take part in it.

“But if motorways were part of the learning experience, then drivers would be more comfortable on them.”

Other instructors had different opinions on letting learners on the motorway before passing.

Ken Howarth, who’s been an instructor for eight years and runs Burnley Driving School, said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to let learners on the motorways before they’ve passed their test.

“To take people out on to the motorway early on in their driving would be difficult as they would have to cope with the flow of traffic and the high speeds.
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“I do think it should be compulsory, however, as you need to be able to drive on a motorway, but it should be compulsory after they have qualified as a driver.”

Other plans include an increase in penalties for drivers who use a handheld phone at the wheel from three points to four and increasing fines to £150.

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