Road Safety News

Drivers support mandatory motorway driving test

Tuesday 14th October 2014

A little over half of motorists would like to see a motorway driving test introduced for all drivers, not just learner drivers, according to a survey by a car leasing company (Fleet World).

The survey of 1,350 motorists was conducted by the lease company in the wake of DfT casualty stats for 2013 which showed a year-on-year increase in the number of people killed in motorway collisions, from 88 in 2012 to 100 in 2013.

The survey asked participants whether they believed that all drivers should have to pass a motorway driving assessment.

52% of all respondents said they wanted to see the introduction of such a test for all drivers. This rose to 70% of those aged 17-24yrs, perhaps indicating anxiety about motorway driving among newly qualified drivers.

More female than male respondents – 64% compared to 41% - favoured the introduction of a motorway driving test.

Alex Wignall, from, said: “I think there has been a consensus among motorists for a long time that drivers should have to pass a test to drive on the motorway.

“This is not something which applies to solely young drivers. There are too many drivers of all ages who are inexperienced on motorways and are not familiar with the important differences which separate it from other types of driving.

“Our survey shows that there is support for the idea that all drivers, whether they have only just passed their test or whether they have been driving for years, should now have to pass a specific test before they are allowed to drive on the motorway.”


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Unfortunately your system is not as foolproof as you may think. It does allow multiple clicks from the same user, they just need to know how to play the system.

Agree (3) | Disagree (4)

The system only allows a reader one agree/disagree on each comment - you cannot do multiple clicks to skew the result (but you can cancel out your original 'agree' with a 'disagree' should you wish to do so.).
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (5) | Disagree (4)

I agree with Eric. I have just agreed with his post and it suggests there is no one in agreement or disagreement. It will be very easy for some individuals to now just click for the sake of it and balance them as I have just done.

Agree (5) | Disagree (5)

The vast majority of learners will have driven on dual carriageways at 70mph (the same as a motorway). The principle difference is the complexity of motorway "Spaghetti Junction" interchanges, but that's not where the big accidents happen. Those that cause the mega hold ups are 99% down to poor/careless driving. Driving too close to the vehicle in front, changing lane without due care etc. Learners should be allowed to be trained on motorways, but even without such access should have the fundemental knowledge to be safe, careful and considerate.
Graham - London

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

The problem now is that it does not illustrate the level of interest and the division of opinion. 20 agreeing and 18 disagreeing is quite different to just two agreeing, but your new scheme presents them as the same (+2). We have lost something - please reinstate the numbers voting for and against.
Eric Bridgstock, Independent Road Safety Research, St Albans

Agree (7) | Disagree (6)

Keith - if only that were the case!

The system counts up those who agree and those who disagree and then presents a running total. So on this story five more people agree (than disagree) with Idris's post below, while six more people disagree (than agree) with Bob's post further down the thread. It's pretty much the same system that the BBC uses in its discussion threads.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

Out of interest how does the scoring now work on the post and threads. Everyone seems to agree with all the posts.

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Whether in engineering, politics, health or road safety there are thousands of great ideas that fall apart the moment the numbers are crunched - this is one of them. A sound idea in principle, useless in practice.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (8) | Disagree (5)

The Driving Test will never cover driving on a motorway because all tests must contain the same types of roads. Many parts of the country do not have access to the motorway network, places such as Cornwall, Isle of White and most of Wales are just a few examples.
Graham West Sussex

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)

...and the delays lasting several hours Bob!
I agree the effects of a M/way crash are usually serious, but I wonder how many are triggered by the over-confident, so called 'experienced driver' rather than the inexperienced?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (10) | Disagree (9)

Whilst it is true statistically that there are fewer iccidents on motorways compared with other roads the problem is that they generally include many vehicles including cars, HGVs coaches etc. What is called a multiple vehicle pile up, and add to that a greater risk of fire.

So they are actually not as safe as we believe when casualty and fatality figures are taken into account. It's something similar to a plane crash, there are fewer of them but there are always multiple casualties and deaths. Don't forget the secondary incidents caused by rubber necking.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (5) | Disagree (11)

Although driving on the motorway can be intimidating and daunting for some drivers, aren't they nevertheless supposed to be our safest roads statistically? The accident rate is lower than non-motorway roads generally, so one could argue that if someone has passed their test on the more hazardous normal roads they should be able to cope with motorways - theorectically anyway! How did we all manage by the way?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (13) | Disagree (1)

Having been involved in road safety for 30 years I can never understand why this was not introduced long ago. Often the reason cited was logistics. Well it is even worse now and I cannot see it ever getting done. It is now almost impossible to catch everyone with such a scheme.

Agree (14) | Disagree (1)

I imagine if I lived in Norfolk I can expect a charge of several hours tuition as the nearest motorway would involve most of a day to get there and back. Whilst I agree with the principal of the idea, the practical needs a lot of thought.
Steve, near a motorway, in London

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

My wife is German and she was amazed to discover driving on the motorway was left to the availability of your Uncle Ted. Ted also seemed to be more popular than the Pass Plus scheme, (which covers) post test driving including motorways.

No one has ever asked the question: "How much are you prepared to pay for a driving test on the motorway? Apparantly not even Ted!
Gareth, Surrey

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)

Would this only apply to drivers who hold a UK licence? Would visitors be required to complete it within a year of residing in the UK? With which group of the 30 million drivers do we start this testing process? Based on some 30 million licence holders in the UK we should get it done in, say, 20 years if we pull our fingers out.

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)