Search icon


23rd Feb 2024

Should motorways be used during lessons for new drivers? The experts think so

Jody Coffey


As it stands, learner drivers cannot drive on the motorway

Calls have been made for Irish learner drivers to be taught to drive on the motorway during lessons and have it as a mandatory part of the driving test.

Motoring experts have called for learner drivers to know how to use the motorway before they receive their pass certificate to try and reduce the number of collisions and improve drivers’ skills.

Currently, those with ‘L’ plates aren’t permitted to practice driving on the motorway, so they have no experience of it when they receive their qualifications.

This results in the majority of first-time drivers using the motorway for the first time alone after they receive their full license.

Slip roads, stricter lane discipline, and increased speed limits all become new learning objectives for a new driver – despite completing 12 mandatory driving lessons and the test.

Credit: Getty

With this in mind, motoring experts have advocated for change, and are urging that driving lessons incorporate motorway practice. They are also looking for the inclusion of motorway skills in the official driving test grading. 

They believe that introducing this into law will help to reduce motorway collisions associated with inexperienced drivers.

“Motorway driving is an intimidating experience for those who have never been on one before,” Tim Alcock, motoring expert at LeaseCar, explains.

“We believe it’s one of the scariest parts of driving as there are additional lanes and more cars on the road travelling at much higher speeds.

“The problem for new drivers is they won’t be used to how it works especially when it comes to building up speed on the slip road and how to safely merge onto the motorway.

“But having motorway driving as a mandatory part of the lessons will help build confidence and experience amongst new drivers so they’ll be fully prepared after getting their pass plates.”

Tim adds that having this additional requirement as part of the driving process will hopefully result in better drivers on the road, more knowledgeable drivers, and fewer accidents cause by lack of experience.

“Learning to drive on the motorway is all about experience, the more you drive on them, the more you get used to the roads,” he adds.

“This message should be made clear during lessons to fully equip new drivers with the skills and confidence needed to have a safe journey.”