Monday 4th June 2018 is going to see innovative changes to the Highway Code rule 253, which governs who can use the motorways.
The law is changing to allow learner drivers to have driving lessons on the motorway with an approved driving instructor. This change is an attempt to ensure more new drivers know how to use the motorways safely and confidently when they eventually pass their driving test.
The new law also allows learner drivers to do the following things, without having to sit the voluntary ‘Pass Plus’ scheme once the practical driving test has been passed:
- get broader driving experience before taking their driving test;
- get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly;
- practice driving at higher speeds;
- understand motorway specific traffic signs;
- understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway; and
- improve their confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test.
Rules 253 will soon have this wording added to it:
‘From 4 June 2018 provisional licence holders may drive on the motorway if they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor and are driving a car displaying red L plates (D plates in Wales), that’s fitted with dual controls.’
This exciting new change only applies to learner drivers in a car. Motorcyclists who are learning will still not be allowed on the motorway.
The government is putting out lots of information about this change so that drivers are patient and space is given to learner drivers as they embark for the first time on UK motorways. It may be easy to forget how when you have years’ of experience of driving that, once upon a time, you yourself were a learner driver and the patience of other road users was invaluable.
So remember, keep a look out for those L plates on the motorway from 4 June 2018, stay calm, stay patient and remember the nerves you had when doing your driving lessons, despite how long ago that may now seem!