New government proposals will help new drivers to stay safe on the roads while punishing dangerous drivers
A raft of measures to improve road safety in Britain have been unveiled today by The Department for Transport.
The proposals will ensure learner drivers are properly prepared before their test, including the chance to gain motorway experience with an approved driving instructor.
This follows plans, announced last month, to introduce a deposit which is returned to the learner if they pass, encouraging them to take the test when they're ready.
Other priorities in the governments plan for road safety include funding to train the next generation of cyclists and extra money for police forces to crack down on drug-drivers.
The plan outlines how the government is delivering on its commitment to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads during this parliament.
The main proposals announced today are:
- Learner drivers will, for the first time, be offered the opportunity to drive on motorways
The proposals would see learners allowed to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor in a dual-controlled car
- Police forces across the country will be able to remove more dangerous drivers from UK roads thanks to a £750,000 grant
Police forces in England and Wales will fund more officers with drug recognition and impairment testing skills to enable more effective and targeted enforcement
- A £50 million grant over the next four years will support Bikeability cycle training in schools
This funding will help to increase childrens road awareness, encouraging children to be healthy and active.
- Compulsory Basic Training for learner motorcyclists will be strengthened and there will be a consultation on a range of further proposals to support safer motorcycling
- A £2million in-depth research programme will be launched to identify the best driver education, training and behaviour-change interventions for learner and novice drivers
- Motorists who endanger lives by using mobile phones while driving will face an increase from the current three penalty points to four, while the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150. For larger vehicles such as HGVs the penalty will increase from the current three points to six and the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record.
"Today we are delivering common sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads."
Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, said: "One in five young drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test so putting the learning process under the spotlight has to be a good thing.
"Mile for mile, motorways are our safest roads but can be intimidating places for novice drivers. Exploring ways of letting learners have controlled access to them is welcome.
"The important thing is the official seal of approval provided by the approved driving instructor who will accompany them down the slip-road. This is definitely not the time to have mum or dad in the passenger seat."
A series of consultations on the specific proposals announced today will follow in the New Year.