Learning to drive and want to boost your confidence and driving skills on a motorway? Then why not prove it by testing your skills on a free online driving hub.
The DrivingHub is being launched to help people improve learner drivers’ safety awareness in the run up to a law change on June 4.
The law change will mean that for the first time learner drivers that are ready to take their test will be allowed to have motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor using a dual controlled car displaying L plates. Any motorways lessons will be voluntary and it will be up to the instructor to decide when the learner is ready to drive on a motorway.
On behalf of Highways England, DIA designed the branding, website and e-learning platform for the project, as well as developing learning content for pupils, trainers and anyone supporting the learning process – i.e. parents.
DIA state that they are very grateful to Highways England for engaging with the ADI community for this project, demonstrating how they value the important role and influence driver trainers have in shaping the next generation of network user.
It will be followed by a free smart phone app being launched later this summer.
The free driving hub tutorials are accessible by logging onto drivinghub.co.uk and include a range of courses covering everything from safety checks, to driving on high speed roads, reading the road, being a considerate driver and managing incidents and breakdowns, as well as a dedicated section for learner drivers.
In the past learner drivers’ first experience of driving at higher speeds had been limited to using dual carriageways and only when they had passed their driving test could they get their first taste of driving on a motorway.
For some newly passed and inexperienced drivers this could prove to be a daunting and often frightening experience.
DIA CEO, Carly Brookfield, said:
“I’m particularly excited about the unique approach we’ve taken with this project – utilising footage of real life incidents and accidents on the network to help raise awareness of what can go wrong, and how to avoid that happening. It was reading some feedback in our research from an ADI who talked about taking pupils on the Motorway, as a passenger and parking up on motorway bridges, commentating on activity on the road (so the pupil started to realise what was bad and good behaviour by other drivers) that led us to think about giving all pupils that bird’s eye view of the network before they drive on it themselves.
“So we asked Highways England for footage from network cameras, and cameras now fitted on Highways England vehicles, which we’ve edited to both show the type of issues but also deliver a learning outcome. It’s very compelling to watch some of these incidents as you know they’re real – and which have more resonance with the YouTube generation than traditional road safety education video approaches.”
Highways England Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said:
“We want all drivers on our motorways to be as safe as possible. We’re looking forward to helping the motorway drivers of tomorrow to develop new skills and get invaluable practical knowledge and experience of using motorways thanks to this law change.
“To help instructors and learners prepare we have worked with our partners to set up these really valuable free resources and I’d urge people to log on and take a look. It will help everyone, not just learner drivers, be safer on our roads.”
The free app, called Pace Notes, being launched later, is for all learner drivers and approved driving instructors and can be used alongside their driving lessons and practise sessions. By logging onto drivinghub.co.uk, people can register to download the app as soon as it is launched.
Highways England believes the law change will help develop a smarter generation of motorway road users, allowing approved driving instructors to teach test-ready learners about the specific set of skills associated with using the motorways safely in a practical situation.