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Learner drivers to have motorway lessons by 2018 in new driving test overhaul

However the change to the law ensures motorway lessons will only take place with a qualified driving instructor in a dual-control car, transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed.

The change will also apply only to cars, not to motorbikes.

Currently only those who have passed their test can drive on a motorway.

Government figures also show that only around 3 per cent of new drivers take the Pass Plus course, a six-hour post-pass instruction that involves being shown how to drive sensibly on motorways.

Mr Grayling said: “Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over 25, and lack of experience is an important factor.

“Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently.”

The transport secretary also noted that young drivers were more likely to be killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads – and a lack of experience was an “important factor”.

The change comes after the Department for Transport last year launched a formal consultation on changing the law.

The RAC’s safety spokesman Pete Williams supported the changes, adding that drivers the RAC had surveyed were “overwhelmingly supportive” of motorway lessons.

He said: “While motorways are statistically our safest roads, it can be daunting using them for the first time after passing the driving test.”

Jasmine Halstead, head of learning and development at the British School of Motoring, said: “If learners aren’t allowed to practice on motorways under supervision, then some will avoid motorways, and others will use motorways incorrectly when they have passed their test.

“Hence it is great news for road safety that learners will be able to drive on motorways under supervision.”

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