THE day you pass your test is the day you start learning to drive.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving - every time you get behind the wheel different scenarios during the journey prompt us to put our knowledge and expertise into practice.

Driving demands concentration and quick-thinking - particularly when navigating the lanes of a motorway - so the law change allowing learner drivers to gain that experience before passing their tests is welcomed by many.

Previously, learner drivers were only allowed on the motorways after passing their tests but the recent rule change means they can now have lessons on the 70mph roads if accompanied by an approved driving instructor and driving a car fitted with dual controls.

Naheem Shah, senior manager at Bradford-based Safeway Rider School of Motoring, believes having the experience of driving on a motorway with an instructor will be hugely beneficial to learner drivers giving them a better understanding of driving in that environment.

However, they would only allow a learner on to the motorway when they have had sufficient lessons and are confident enough to cope.

“It’s only when they have experienced enough to handle that high speed environment because it is a motorway,” says Naheem, who believes the experience is particularly beneficial to those using the motorway in the long run.

Having passed his test a year ago, Hassan Naqvi recently undertook some motorway driving lessons with Safeway Rider School of Motoring.

The 23-year-old, who is currently studying for his Masters degree in post production in Manchester, welcomes the law change and believes having experience of motorway driving as a learner gives them confidence to become better drivers.

“I think once you are confident with that it is fantastic in it gives you more confidence in general driving.”

Julian Jackson, Chair of the West Yorkshire Safer Roads Executive, said: “This is a positive move in the right direction to give new drivers the chance to experience driving on motorways in controlled circumstances with an approved driving instructor and in a vehicle with dual controls.”

Road safety minister, Jesse Norman, said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world, but road collisions remain the second biggest killer of young people.

“Allowing learner drivers to have motorway lessons with a qualified road safety expert will help more young drivers to gain the skills and experience they need to drive safely on motorways.”

One in 12 current licence holders avoid motorways for at least six months after passing their test - according to an AA poll of more than 20,000 motorists. More than a quarter said they felt scared when venturing onto a motorway for the first time.

A fifth of all fatalities on Britain’s roads in 2016 involved crashes where a driver was aged 17 to 24, despite that age category making up just seven per cent of all licence holders, Department for Transport figures show.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “Young drivers are drastically over-represented in crashes. This change, which will help broaden the opportunities they have while learning, is very positive.

“It is somewhat perverse that five minutes after passing the driving test a new driver could venture alone on to a motorway without having had any motorway tuition.”

Motorways driving is not being added to the test and lessons are voluntary. It will be up to instructors to decide whether a learner is ready for them.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “If learning to drive is preparing for whatever the road network can throw at you, then this change is a logical step. It will help keep our motorways the safest routes we have.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at charity IAM RoadSmart said: “It has never made sense to us that new drivers on our most important roads learned how to use them by trial and potentially fatal error.”

Road safety charity, Brake, wants the Government to introduce a graduated driver licensing system which includes restrictions for a certain period after passing the test such as a late-night driving curfew.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said: “While today’s move is a small step in the right direction, a total overhaul in the way in which we learn to drive is urgently needed.”