Learner drivers can take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor from 4 June 2018.

From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.

This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary

Legal limits for “drug-driving” to be introduced

The government are to set limits for drug driving, similar to those we have for drink driving, in the Autumn of 2014.

A zero limit was ruled out because it was felt that people could have been accidentally exposed to drugs such as passive smoking of cannabis, which may result in a small trace in their bloodstream but wouldn’t impair their driving.

It is expected that when the new law comes into force there will be different limits for different types of drugs.  Not all these drugs will be illegal – some will be legally prescribed drugs such as morphine and diazepam.

It will mean that is it easier to prosecute people for drug driving because anyone over the limit can be prosecuted, whereas now, the police need to prove that your driving was impaired, which can be more difficult to prove in court.

But what is the safe limit?

As with drink driving, the difficulty is that we all know what a pint of lager looks like, but we don’t know what 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath looks like. Alcoholic drinks are all different strengths and no two people process alcohol the same, which adds to the uncertainty. With the drug driving limits, not only will we not know what 2 micrograms of cannabis per litre of blood looks like, but these limits will vary from drug to drug and then there is the uncertainty of how long it will affect each individual.

With alcohol and drugs, the only safe limit is a zero limit.  If you are on prescribed drugs that may affect your ability to drive, then you must seek medical advice.

End of the vehicle tax disc

As of October 1st 2014 the DVLA is allowing motorists to pay their vehicle tax payments annually, biannually or monthly, and pay by direct debit. This is to help assist with the government’s 2014 law change to reduce the hassle that comes with vehicle tax.

Another new change happening this year is the loss of the paper tax disc. You will no longer need to keep a paper tax disc as proof of payment. The vehicle tax will still need to be paid, but as of October 1st 2014 the DVLA will be changing to a digital system to keep track of who has and hasn’t paid, so the tax disc that’s been displayed for so long at the bottom left of your windscreen “will be no more”!

New penalties to tackle tailgating and middle lane hogging

Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences – such as tailgating or middle lane hogging – and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.

The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

Existing fixed penalty levels rising to £100

In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences – including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt – will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

National standards for driving updated

DSA has published updated versions of some of the national standards for driving.
advice on eco-safe driving:

Learning to drive syllabus

The learning to drive syllabus has also been updated so that it’s more readable and user-friendly.

New rules for drivers on eyesight and epilepsy

Revised minimum driving licence standards for eyesight and epilepsy will apply under new rules announced by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes, which come into force from 8 March, mean that there will be some changes for drivers and riders with epilepsy and to the vision standards required for driving.


Group 2 – Buses and lorries.

For these drivers, there will be a new relaxed visual acuity standard for the ‘weaker eye’ when each eye is separately examined. Generally eyesight can be weaker in one eye than the other.


Group 1 – Cars and motorcycles.

For the first time, drivers who have only ever suffered seizures while asleep may now be considered for a licence after 1 year, instead of the current requirement of 3 years.

The new rules will also allow drivers who have only ever suffered seizures that have no impact on consciousness or the ability to act to apply for a driving licence 1 year from the date of their first seizure. Currently these drivers can only be licensed if they are free from these seizures for a period of 12 months.

Law on driving licence exchange tightened to improve road safety

Foreign drivers must prove they have passed an appropriate driving test before getting a British licence under tough new rules announced by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

An inconsistency in the law meant that previously some non EU drivers were able to exchange their licence without proving that the necessary standards to drive in this country had been met.

The change in law means requests to exchange driving licences from outside the EU will only be accepted if the licence holder can prove they passed a driving test in a country where the testing standards are comparable with those in Britain.

Stephen Hammond said:

“The UK’s roads are amongst the safest in the world, thanks in part to the rigorous standards demanded by our driving test. By closing this loophole we will not only make Britain’s roads even safer, but will help tackle fraud and level the playing field for British drivers who spend time and money learning to drive at the standard required in the UK.

“It is obvious to everyone that drivers who have not been through a rigorous driving test will not be as safe as those who have. This change in the law will mean we can be sure that any foreign drivers exchanging their licence here have already passed a test of a similar standard to ours.”

Licences issued by an EU state

All driving licences issued by an EU state allow that driver to drive in any part of the EU and there is no need for them to exchange their licences. This does not apply to drivers outside Europe but arrangements are in place with 15 countries that allow drivers to exchange their licences for a Great Britain one.

They do not need to take any additional driving tests as DVLA recognise that the licence they hold proves that they have already met the appropriate standards to drive in this country.

Inconsistency in the law

But because of an inconsistency in the law, some foreign drivers were able to exchange a licence with another overseas country with which DVLA have an exchange agreement, and then subsequently swap it for a Great Britain one.

This meant that DVLA could not be sure that the driver had met the appropriate standards to drive in this country before exchanging their licence.

The law will now make clear that the licence to be exchanged will only be issued on the basis that the driver has met the appropriate standards to drive in this country.

The change in law came into force on 11 January 2013.