Learner drivers are now allowed on UK motorways – how will this affect the haulage industry?
Learner drivers have been legally allowed to drive on dual carriageways for years – many of which have 70mph speed limits and similar rules to driving on a motorway. However, last month, new legislation came into effect which allows learner drivers to drive on motorways. Motorways are heavily used by commercial drivers and lorry drivers up and down the UK, which begs the question; how will the new legislation affect drivers in the haulage industry?
Previously, only drivers who had already passed their test could drive on motorways – even if they lacked any training or previous experience. This new law would give drivers the knowledge and experience needed to drive on motorways unassisted. It goes without saying that learner drivers should only be taken onto motorways when they are ready, and under the new legislation, a learner can only drive on motorways with a certified instructor in a car with dual controls. So there shouldn't be any panicking parents in the passenger seat!
The Road Haulage Association supports learner drivers being allowed on the motorway when they're ready; "Any measure which makes Britain's safest roads even safer has to be a good thing."
We agree with this sentiment, as long as the learner driver is ready to take the next step and drive on motorways. Educating young drivers on the differences faced when driving on motorways is vital to give confidence to new, young drivers. We would much rather have a learner driver with a certified instructor on the motorway than somebody who has passed their test without any motorway experience.
With the installation of smart motorways up and down the country, motorway driving is becoming more and more complex. Being trained on the differences between driving on motorways and other roads will improve the confidence of learner drivers, while making our motorways a safer place. In the long term, this change can only benefit the haulage industry, giving new drivers the skills and knowledge needed to drive on the motorway. The change will make motorways safer for everybody in the haulage industry, if implemented correctly.