Brake comments on learner drivers being permitted on motorways

News from Brake
Monday 4 June 2018
Brake urges the Government to protect young drivers as learners take to the motorways
From today (Monday 4 June), 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 [1]. The move is part of the Government’s efforts to better prepare learner drivers for driving safely on the roads after passing their test.
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 [2].
Commenting on the change, 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 disproportionality 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.”
Notes to editors:
References from quotes:
  • 17-24 full license holders = 2,784,703
  • All full license holders = 40,331,643
  • % of 17-24 license holders – 6.90%
  • Number of fatalities involving car drivers aged 17-24 = 354
  • Total road fatalities = 1,792
  • % of road fatalities involving car drivers aged 17-24 = 19.75%
  • Number of crashes on motorways = 5,405
  • Total road crashes = 136,621
  • % of crashes on motorways = 3.96%
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.


Tags: graduated licencing motorways learner drivers GDL government