The Government has announced that from 2012 learner drivers will be let loose on motorways. This radical departure from the current system is an attempt to reduce road fatalities and improve the skills of young drivers.
Mike Penning, the Road Safety Minister, said in a speech at the Institute of Advanced Motorists that it was an open question whether the current driving test adequately prepared young drivers for real life driving conditions - and that the Government was planning a number of changes to address that issue.
A significant change, he said, would be to address the problem of learner drivers being banned from motorways. Mr Penning stated "I will allow driving instructors to teach on the motorway before their test."
He also promised to put an end to the system whereby trainee instructors were allowed to teach learner drivers and said "I was shocked when I discovered my daughter could be taught by someone that wasn't qualified. I assumed they would be."
According to the IAM's latest report it becomes clear that young male drivers have a somewhat inflated perception of their own abilities. No less than 62% of them, in fact, think they are 'more skilful' than the average driver. However, statistics from the Department of Transport show that nearly one out of every three road deaths involve a driver between the ages of 17 and 24 - most of them males.
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