The Moving off and Stopping lesson usually follows the Cockpit Drill and Safety Checks lesson. This lesson is normally done moving off from the left side of the road.
When moving away you must do so under control and safely without causing another road user to have to slow or change direction. Remember the three S’s; don’t cause another driver to have to Slow, Swerve or Swear.
There may seem a lot to do but your instructor will give you whatever help is required and will take a lot of the responsibility to make sure it is safe before moving off or stopping and in choosing where to stop. As you get more experience in future lessons gradually the responsibility will transfer to you.
Before trying to move have a look in front of you and in your mirrors to make sure it is okay to think about moving, be aware of any pedestrians around and anything happening that might affect you when you do move.
Moving off can be thought of in four steps:
Prepare, Observe, Signal if necessary and Move or POSM (pronounced Possum like the animal).
- Clutch down and select 1st Gear.
- Set the gas by pressing enough to hear the engine make a lively hum but not so much that it sounds excessive.
- Raise the clutch to the ‘biting point’. You should hear the engine noise change.
- Keep both feet still (This might take a little practice so don’t worry if you don’t get it first time).
- Check your left door mirror, inside mirror and right door mirror.
- If everything seems safe check your right blind spot. This is a very important step and should be done just before moving.
- If you delay your move for any reason you should repeat your observations, the situation can change very quickly.
- If it is safe to move but there is anyone who would benefit from knowing that you are going to move then use a right signal. Tell people what you’re doing.
- Remember it’s not just drivers you should be ‘telling’, pedestrians may also need to know.
- If there is no one around or close enough to be affected then there maybe no need to signal.
- Release the handbrake.
- Keep both feet still as the car begins to move. If the car doesn’t move, slowly bring the clutch a little higher.
- Gently steer right about 1/4 of a turn until a suitable position on the road before straightening.
- After the car has moved about it’s own length, slowly raise the clutch all the way and gently accelerate.
- Check inside mirror and right door mirror, in the time it has taken to move there maybe traffic approaching which can affect what you do with your speed.
Once you get moving at some point you are going to have to stop, here’s how to do it safely. You will make use of the MSPSL routine. That stands for Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed and Look
- Check your inside mirror and left door mirror, look for following traffic and hazards such as cyclists on your left side.
- Decide if you need to give a left signal to tell following drivers as well as oncoming traffic that you will be stopping.
- Begin steering gently to the left, it won’t take much steering and try to avoid staring at the kerb.
- Gently brake to reduce your speed, how much brake will depend how fast you are travelling. If travelling very slow you may only need very little.
- Be ready to put the clutch all the way down just before stopping.
- As you’re stopping look for obstacles or any debris at the side of the road.
- Avoid stopping across driveways or junctions.
- Make sure it legal to stop.
Once stopped, keep your foot on the brake and the clutch pressed down until the handbrake is applied and the gears are in neutral then cancel your signal if you have used one.