You will start to see learner drivers on the motorways from now on.

From yesterday, learner drivers in England, Scotland and Wales will be permitted to take driving lessons on motorways alongside an approved driving instructor in a dual control car. The move is part of the Government’s efforts to better prepare learner drivers for driving safely on the roads after passing their test.

Road safety charity Brake urges the Government go further to address the tragedy of young driver death on our roads and is calling for the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system across the UK. Brake recommends that such a system should include a 12-month learner period, an initial test, and then a two-year novice period when drivers can drive independently but with restrictions – such as a late-night driving curfew.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “While today’s move is a small step in the right direction, a total overhaul in the way in which we learn to drive is urgently needed. Young people are disproportionately at risk on our roads – 7% of the driving population but involved in a fifth of all road deaths – and this is ultimately down to inexperience. Training on motorways is important, but with just 4% of crashes taking place on these roads, today’s changes fall well short.

“Brake urges a solution which will deliver radical improvements. A Graduated Driver Licensing System includes a minimum supervised learning period and restrictions for newly qualified drivers and is proven to work; a Government report stated the public health benefits of GDL are indisputable and could prevent up to 9,000 casualties annually.

“Improvements in UK road safety have stagnated in recent years and a step-change is required. GDL is proven to deliver for some of our most vulnerable road users and must be implemented as a matter of priority.”

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